* Posts by Admiral Grace Hopper

594 posts • joined 7 Oct 2008

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NASA fix for Curiosity rovers's damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly

Admiral Grace Hopper

"Brummy screwdriver"

Or as the Brummies would call it, a West Bromwich Screwdriver.

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BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Admiral Grace Hopper

Things have changed,.

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.

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‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Welcome once a

Sadly I fear the we shall never find the packet of papers containing the memoir of his time in Paris durign the 1871 Commune.

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Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Admiral Grace Hopper

It could have been better

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.

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Machines learned to assemble IKEA’s semi-disposable furniture

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: I have to say....

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.

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Honey, I shrunk the mainframe: Fujitsu freshens up GS21 kit

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Don’t you forget about VME

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.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Don’t you forget about VME

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.

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Admiral Grace Hopper

Silly Bankers

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.

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Are you able to read this headline? Then you're not Julian Assange. His broadband is unplugged

Admiral Grace Hopper

Simple solution.

He could walk out and find somewhere with free WiFi.

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There are 10 types of people in the world, but there is only one Melvyn

Admiral Grace Hopper

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.

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Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Lost count...

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”.

I declined.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Proper printers aren’t for messing with

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.

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Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

Admiral Grace Hopper
Facepalm

Post-It (tm)

A news report said that employees were using Post-it (tm) notes as boundary markers but the architecture police were removing them.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Well it's obvious

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.

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Java EE renamed 'Jakarta EE' after Big Red brand spat

Admiral Grace Hopper

Krakatoa East Of Java

The erroneous film title is still wrong after the name change. If only they'd changed the name to Zanzibar.

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Developer recovered deleted data with his face – his Poker face

Admiral Grace Hopper

I can't remember why I was part of the conversation

, 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.

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Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

Admiral Grace Hopper
Stop

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.

8
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What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster

Admiral Grace Hopper

Don't Menschn 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.

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Are you taking the peacock? United Airlines deny flight to 'emotional support' bird

Admiral Grace Hopper

Emotional Support Peacock

Their first two albums were essential, but they went downhill after the ocarina player left in '74.

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HMRC dev support team cc blurtfest: Over 1,400 email addresses blabbed

Admiral Grace Hopper

Who, me?

Your new strand of confessional articles seems quite timely.

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Boil? Pah!

I curry sprouts, with excellent, if anti-social, results.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Interference

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.

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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

Admiral Grace Hopper

It's a common problem

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.

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Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

Admiral Grace Hopper
Windows

Bigendian vs. Littleendian

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.

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UK taxman told to go easy on transformation with Brexit in headlights

Admiral Grace Hopper

Whither Aspire?

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.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

I used to work in Telford.

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The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Opposite effect

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.

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Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Admiral Grace Hopper

"[...] 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.

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A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Admiral Grace Hopper

Bought Excel?

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.

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SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: 'cause more damage to your brand'

"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!'

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Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: the big red button

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.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Fragile. Very fragile.

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.

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The Reg parts ways with imagineer and thought pathfinder Steve Bong

Admiral Grace Hopper

L’Esprit d’Escalier

I forgot to ask, where did it all go Bong?

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Technology Trebuchet

Bong finally flung. Sad, but disruption catches up with everyone in the end, even the old disruptors.

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MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "A failed customs system could lead to huge disruption for businesses,"

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?

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "All from one magical animal"

I had to check the link

It's as racy as I get these days.

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Admiral Grace Hopper
Pint

"All from one magical animal"

A very dear friend bought this Pork Scratching Advent Calendar for me. I am a very lucky girl indeed.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Forth

"It's COBOL I despise."

Harumph.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

All welcome here.

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.

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Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: The Juice Is Loose

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).

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Admiral Grace Hopper
Coffee/keyboard

The Juice Is Loose

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.

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Hop on, Average Rabbit: Latest extortionware menace flopped

Admiral Grace Hopper

Kill The Wabbit

Elmer Fudd FTW.

2
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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Dungeness

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.

4
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Capgemini: We love our 'flexible, flowing' spade

Admiral Grace Hopper

Can I have an "E" please Bob?

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.

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BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Admiral Grace Hopper

Teamwork

Go team!

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Admiral Grace Hopper

Normally I abhor backronyms

But this one is beautiful.

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Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback

Admiral Grace Hopper

Look in the loft

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.

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Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: "you'd have almost no apps"

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 ..."

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New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: This is getting stupid

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.

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Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

Admiral Grace Hopper

Leaping Two Generations

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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