* Posts by Admiral Grace Hopper

667 posts • joined 7 Oct 2008


Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

Agile != sloppy

I yearn for the day when management work out that done properly, agile is not just a cost-cutting exercise. “Less paperwork must be cheaper, right?”.

Who needs malware? IBM says most hackers just PowerShell through boxes now, leaving little in the way of footprints

Admiral Grace Hopper

Satin details on your shirt front - classy.

I work with a Goth who could rock that look with style.

'Occult' text from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ep actually just story about new bus lane in Dublin

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Dross?

Coincidentally I've just started a full re-watch. It's sharply written, well-acted and to my mind has stood the test of time, a statement I feel more comfortable making as the effects, prosthetics and so forth were hokey even at the time it was made.. The first couple of series are perfect for kids, the later ones are more mature and cover some fairly serious topics. I would recommend it.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Father Dougal

I won't type it out again, but I am sure that everyone has worked with a Father Dougal at some point in their career. There's something so seductive about a Big Red Button.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: The Haynes Manual of Life

My next-door neighbour taught me how to use a spanner (and develop and print B&W negatives - thanks Pete!). He was a fitter/mechanic in the RAF post war and told the tale of he and a colleague servicing a pile of transfer boxes for Spitfires. Clearing down their workbenches at the end of the job, his colleague had a small collection of springs and washers. Pete asked with concern what they were doing there. "Spares!" said his colleague, who threw them in a tray and walked away. Pete moved all his colleague's work back into the to-do pile and wandered off for a word with his Chief.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: The danger of conference calls

Ahem. "your boot and its arse".

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: The danger of conference calls

The further danger of conference calls when you're on a mobile phone working from home when you spot next-door's cat shitting on your lawn and discourage it from this activity with a full and frank extempore account of its near future, your and its arse.

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Completly missing the point

I work with a colleague who tells long and involved war stories about the niff-naffery, annoyance and frustration of carnets and export licences in the old days of IT. Absolutely dreadful to deal with, apparently. He voted to leave, obv.

Boffins debunk study claiming certain languages (cough, C, PHP, JS...) lead to more buggy code than others

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: poor tools can't be blamed?....sure, sure, suurrrrre

I agree.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

Admiral Grace Hopper

OJ - the juice is loose

Orange juice and PCB tracks do not play well together. It's less of a problem now that the peripherals are largely disposable or wear items, but we used to have fun when companies like Philips thought it a good idea to put expensive electronics in the beverage landing zone. I've already related the tale of the Maestro keyboard and the OJ which was my first experience of a keyboard/corrosive fluid interface.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Limped after Apple II

As a Škoda driver, I tend to refer to as a Volkswagen built down to a price.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: I can believe it!

If it was a bloke, it may well have been the first time that the printer didn't just do the job itself. I used to work in an office where only the women seemed to have the necessary skills to replenish printers with paper or toner. I assumed that the men's penises and or testes must have prevented them from bending down far enough to do the job. A terrible handicap, to be sure.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: slip over PPP

And finally being motivated to learn about vpns and tunnelling to access message boards touting scurrilous rumours over the company network. *fn/bq*

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

Admiral Grace Hopper

A tale as old as time

Way back in Jurassic times, developing on mainframes, a smart girl *coff* asked if our relatively new environment which had been set up for a new project was included in the schedules which backed everything up to tape*. We checked, it wasn't, so our semi-technical team leader raised the paperwork, then said he would work late to "tidy things up" before the first backup as we had been so productive that the first back up was likely to be quite large.

You can guess how this went, can't you?

Fortunately, we had enough compilation listings to allow us to re-type it all back in within a week.

* Proper tapes, with Joe 90 reels, vacuum feeds, reel clips that broke when hit by footballs (another story for another time), with tape accessible to grumpy tape ops who were not above giving it a tweak to stretch it and render it unreadable 2 hours into the batch run if you'd pissed them off.

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...

Admiral Grace Hopper

It really is so much easier to nit-pick and complain

There's no easy way to say this. I like it, it works, it flows, it looks good, it does the job and I can offer no suggestions on how it might be improved from my first use of the new format. For an IT professional I feel like I have failed in some way in not being able to pick holes in it in any way. Sorry about that.

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

You're looking at her.

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

Well, the more the merrier. I prefer a domain to a workgroup, but it's different strokes for different folks.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Vindicated

“Why did you call her Vienna?”

“Leave the door open and whoosh! It’s goodnight Vienna”.


2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

Admiral Grace Hopper

Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave

If you've got nothing to hide, why would you refuse to have an always-on microphone in your house?

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Admiral Grace Hopper

The Phone Rings

"Hi there, this is networks. Can you stop firing the f*cking chain gun?"

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Value added installer

When we had a similar "issue" with code that was too efficient and lean to justify the price charged we added a 2 Gb Easter egg to make the install time and disk footprint feel more expensive.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

Admiral Grace Hopper

ICL - It Can't Last

A little later than the era you describe, but the smart kids preferred Think Of A Number

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

Admiral Grace Hopper

[Long set up about test driving car with a voice-controlled radio]

"I said, 'news', and it switched to Radio 4. Half a mile down the road a van cut me up and I shouted, "stupid f*cking bastard"m and the radio switched over to Chris Evans".

Admiral Grace Hopper

"Heck, I'd have gone full BOFH"

Punishment maintenance. Sweet.

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Mommy


HMRC: 30 months to prep Northern Ireland backstop systems, 24 for customs

Admiral Grace Hopper

@Ian Johnston

"Every major IT project the government has ever tried has failed, "

CESA was delivered on time, within budget, with all specified functionality.

In Space, Still: 20 years since Russia hurled first bit of floating astronaut hostel into orbit

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Out of this world

Storage above the cloud!

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Yes

I could lose my heart to that.

Bright spark dev irons out light interference

Admiral Grace Hopper

Blu Tack

Those of a certain generation grew up with expansion packs secured with the universal blue fixative. If we'd had Sugru back then we'd have been ecstatic.

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

Admiral Grace Hopper

I am completely operational and all my circuits are functioning perfectly.

His voice started and ended my working day for many years, as well as marking error events with an appropriate phrase.

Russian computer failure on ISS is nothing to worry about – they're just going to turn it off and on again

Admiral Grace Hopper

"So 3 HALs walk into a bar..."

... and the barman says, "Why the long int?".

Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier

Admiral Grace Hopper

Putting On The Ritz

Or putting it on the Ritz *jazz hands*

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Admiral Grace Hopper


A good choice of tune, their speeded-up version of Kraftwerk's Radioactivity is a fine tribute to Tesla, but there is, of course, a more direct tribute.

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

Admiral Grace Hopper

"what's a computer?"

Eat Y'Self Fitter!

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Would they allow it if...

Whenever life takes me to Driffield, I always smile as I pass through Wetwang.

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

"Could" is the key word. Possibility is always hemmed in by intent and capability.

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

"The UK has given notice, and the EU has set a deadline"

The UK government could rescind its A50 letter if it wished. The awkward silence that might follow would be interesting to witness, but I doubt that we will be treated to that

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Oblig

"I wonder why?".

Those factories in Malaysia don't build themselves.

Admiral Grace Hopper

"Keep calm and carry on"

When that is the best and most coherent planning advice that we have had for coping with this situation then we are truly in an unnerving place.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Move the embassy

Diplocat is my new DJ name.

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: I had an A310 and loved it

I didn't have and Acorn - my Dad bought us a Dragon 32 - but I share your feelings about the passage of time. Every time I visit the National Museum Of Computing it becomes a tick list of machines I used to own, machines I use to work on and machine I use to covet.

Core-blimey! Riddle of Earth's mysterious center finally 'solved' by smarty seismologists

Admiral Grace Hopper

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

Admiral Grace Hopper

He’ll probably do the Lib Dem thing and sell the post room.

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

Admiral Grace Hopper

Red Dwarf

Back in the mists of time we used Philips Maestro systems for mainframe software development. These were upgraded to the new whizzy devices with some intelligence built into the very expensive keyboards to alleviate the load on the minicomputer that talked to the mainframe. It was drilled into us how very expensive the desktop component was - 3000 late-80s GBPs - in an effort to impress on us how lucky we were to have them and how much care we should take of them. Sadly, my desk neighbour showed little care while ham-fistedly opening a litre carton of orange juice which split and dumped its contents into the keyboard/desktop processor. Orange juice and PCB tracks are not a felicitous combination.

After we moved onto PCs I didn't think of the Philips Maestro again until I saw one glued to the wall of the cabin of Star Bug in Red Dwarf.

'Incommunicado' Assange anoints new WikiLeaks editor in chief

Admiral Grace Hopper

Incommunicado? Sorta, kinda, maybe.

In a cupboard? Has been for some while, probably will be for some time yet. Poor Ecuadoran embassy staff.

Blueprint of modern construction can be found in a tech cluster... of 19th century England

Admiral Grace Hopper


A beautiful county. Lots of wonderful walking, fascinating history, much to explore and some interesting and unique rock climbing on Wenlock Edge, Pontesford Rocks and Nesscliffe. I can highly recommend the Rocke Cottage Tea Rooms in Clungunford.

I worked in Telford for many years and while it has much to recommend it as a place of employment, I wouldn't rush back. It turns out that you did have to pay me to make me go there.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "over-zealous yank"

No, you aren't. I immediately started to compile a mental list of former colleagues who fitted the description, being careful, of course, to omit the Good 'Ole Boys from Texas who didn't appreciate being called Yankees.

Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Admiral Grace Hopper

As a senior exec at an outsourcing former (now-defunct) employer once told me, "We woo on the contract pitch and rape on the service changes".

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

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: All these years on

I pray for them. In Codd we trust.

Admiral Grace Hopper

All these years on

and I still find myself in third normal form.


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