Or as the Brummies would call it, a West Bromwich Screwdriver.
594 posts • joined 7 Oct 2008
Or as the Brummies would call it, a West Bromwich Screwdriver.
Our HP support licences used to arrive in box bigger than the one that they sent the server in. It made sense as the support contract probably cost more than the server.
Sadly I fear the we shall never find the packet of papers containing the memoir of his time in Paris durign the 1871 Commune.
We were offered free training on the software package being proposed, for the whole team and the training to be conducted in the US, flights from the UK to be picked up by the vendor. Our boss said yes. which was greeted with great joy and we prepared for our team jolly. Then we were told that out of the two sites where we could do the training, Palo Alto had been rejected by our boss as being, "too far away", and that we would be heading for Malvern, Pa. In February. Very friendly people at the Malvern facility, but boy was it cold.
IKEA furniture is easy enough to assemble correctly, after all it is designed that way. The benighted contraption that my sister bought from Next and asked me to sort out after she took one look and ran away gibbering was another matter. That thing still haunts my nightmares.
ICL is only relevant in UK.
The reach of VME is still international, even now. It's not just British companies that see the value in not fixing something that isn't broken.
Got some software developed on the old ICL mainframe OS-es? Fujitsu will keep that running for you as well.
Old operating systems never die, but they do sometimes decompile.
Legend had it that back in the 80s a major bank had the idea of targeting their major personal investment clients with directed marketing. The requirement went out to the DP department (this was the 80s) and after testing, the extract/print/mail run was kicked off and everyone was happy ... until the phone calls started coming in.
Due to lax testing and/or cross-fertilisation of live and test data the bank had sent a letter to each of its top 5% of personal banking clients addressed to, "Dear Rich Bastard".
I enjoyed life in the 80s.
He could walk out and find somewhere with free WiFi.
A perfect encapsulation of the In Our Time experience. Hearing Melvyn Bragg failing to understand quantum mechanics is one my favourite things. He does it two or three times a year.
When I worked (briefly) as I delivery driver for a sausage maker in the Midlands I phoned in from a drop in Liverpool to asked if I minded doing a pick up in Poole, “on my way back”.
Drum printers were lethal. Similarly, chain printers would eat the unwary alive. Long hair and neck ties had to be safely secured before venturing anywhere near them.
A news report said that employees were using Post-it (tm) notes as boundary markers but the architecture police were removing them.
That's unfair. Apple took their WIMPs from Palo Alto long before Microsoft picked up the idea and ran with it. Mind you, at least MS didn't run into any doors along the way.
The erroneous film title is still wrong after the name change. If only they'd changed the name to Zanzibar.
, but I still have the dent in my tongue from biting it when a colleague assured that the new laser printers would be a direct replacement for their impact printers and that they could still use their three-part stationery with no changes.
I shuffled myself sideways onto a different project sharpish as soon as I got out of the room.
There is one in my house as it was bought for me as a gift, but it is still sitting in its box waiting for me to decide how to get rid of it.
What is it with MPs and chat-apps? It's almost as though the only technology that they can see a use for is poorly secured message boards.
Their first two albums were essential, but they went downhill after the ocarina player left in '74.
Your new strand of confessional articles seems quite timely.
I curry sprouts, with excellent, if anti-social, results.
It's not helped by well-intentioned but inappropriate gifts. I was bought and Amazon Echo Dot at Christmas which I really must put on eBay. I certainly don't intend ever taking it out of the box.
The mis-use of data is a definite problem and in this instance can be laid at the feet of the appropriate data controller, whoever that may be. The root cause of creeps is more difficult to solve. My personal low point was the Yodel delivery driver who asked for a kiss and a look at my tits. Fortunately he didn't have my phone number, but he did, obviously have my home address. The IT angle? Social media was very quick to pick up the story once tweeted and spread the news.
I can remember having to write code to switch tapes from one endian scheme to the other (and vice versa, obv). Since we sorted out those fundamental issues things have been much quieter. I still think in EBCDIC rather than Unicode though.
Is Aspire still a thing? After the various contract novations, in-housings and assorted jiggery-pokery I'd have thought that there wasn't enough left of the Aspire contract left to line a budgie cage.
I used to work in Telford.
I used to work with someone similarly gifted. I tried to get him to test anything and everything - hardware, software, coffee machines, help files, chairs - if he he couldn't break it, it was bomb-proof. We called him "Entropy's Little Buddy". Every organisation should have one.
"[...] the cleaner was in, and unplugged the modem to plug the vacuum cleaner in. "
In our DC in the 80s it was the HSXC controller that got unplugged every night.
The tale of the cleaner looking for a plug always sounds like an urban myth until it happens to you.
In those free-wheeling days when copy protection was at best a gossamer condom the first thing that anyone did when a PC landed on your office desk was to take "Archive Copies" of all the supplied software to be kept off site. I only threw away my off-site archive of Excel 5 when I moved house last year.
"I won't be that gimp anymore."
I reached that point with Vista. I'll happily use Windows if I am being to do so, but not in my own time. I helped my pro bono support clients migrate to Mac or Linux and life has been so much better since.
All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say: 'I'm a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!'
There's something irresistible about a Big Red Button.
One afternoon, while happily programming away, the office was filled with the sound of silence as all the fans on all the desktops and servers wound done and the LaserJet II printers fell silent. A graduate trainee stood next to a Big Red Button looking aghast. Someone at a desk near him told us later that he'd seen the grad staring transfixed at the Big Red Button for a good minute or so before reaching out and pressing it. His Father Dougal moment cost the best part of half a days work as it took that long to power up the whole building without tripping the breakers every time the master switch was thrown.
Two days later, all the Big Red Buttons had Big Yellow Covers on them.
Yes, I'm with you all the way, right up to the point where I compile my personal list of people for whom I have worked who still retain a little of the technical nous that got them to where they are now, but have had all the common sense removed by a few years of management. Much as I want to live in a world where this could not happen, I have done too often and for too long.
I forgot to ask, where did it all go Bong?
Bong finally flung. Sad, but disruption catches up with everyone in the end, even the old disruptors.
In fact I'm not sure if the current rules implemented within CHIEFS (in ICL 4GL dating from the 70's) are fully documented.
But surely one of the selling points of ApplicationMaster was that it was self-documenting if used correctly?
I had to check the link
It's as racy as I get these days.
"It's COBOL I despise."
I'm comfortable with many languages and enjoy meeting the challenge of their specialisations and idiosyncrasies. It can be a joy getting an insight into the thought processes of our antecedents. I learned a huge respect for the designers of S3 when I had cause to revisit it recently. Each has its own quirks that can delight or infuriate, but each language was created for a purpose and the fun lies in using it for that purpose.
That being said, if the answer is VBA, you're asking the wrong question.
We were developers, what were they going to do?
Taking food and drink near any of the msnframe nodes in the computer hall, however, was utterly forbidden (unless you were an op and it was anywhere near Christmas - we’ve had BOFHs in our life ever since Knute was a lad).
Back in pre-history, Philips made a useful workstation system called Maestro, a mini-computer and desktop system that we used to make life easier for the mainframe developerr. We used them very effectively and were pleased when we upgraded to the new Maestro 9000 series, which had a lot of the functionality put into some slick and spendy (£3000 in 1990) keyboard units. You can see one stuck to the wall of the Starbug in Red Dwarf. They were well built, but sadly not environment sealed as we discovered when my desk neighbour over-exerted himself while trying to open a recalcitrant carton of orange juice and when the carton opened in a rapidly evolving failure mode dumped the contents into the keyboard/desktop computer unit. Orange juice and PCBs are not amicable companions. He was known as OJ for a long while after that, until the nickname acquired unfortunate connotations.
Elmer Fudd FTW.
Thank you for the pointers. For whatever reason it's a part of the country that I haven't really been to and has long been on my to-do list, along with Orford Ness.
I was working for EDS when they changed from a square surround for the "E" to a round one, because "e" was then the magic letter and making it round would be the panacea for all the company's woes. It was possibly the worst result of dropping a dodgy E that I ever saw.
But this one is beautiful.
Or trawl the eBazaars, the original machines are still working and widely available. Thanks the tin solder they still work as well as they ever did.
Okay... why single out the "millennials" when we've experienced stuttery computers for decades?
Quite right too. I've been writing slow software for decades. Sometimes it was even designed to be that way. "Can you slow down your output? It's backing up at the collector ..."
the legendary sense of humour that HMRC has*
When I was working for the Inland Revenue, the precursor to HMRC, we tried to book Ken Dodd to play our staff social club. His agent didn't think that this was a good idea, for some reason.
When I moved into my house last year I was surprised to find that the heating system had no thermostat control whatsoever. Fitting a similar device to this was a lot easier than chasing the walls to wire in a simpler thermostat. While I am instinctively averse to cloudy things in the home, I am actively repelled by unnecessary grief.
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