* Posts by Admiral Grace Hopper

605 posts • joined 7 Oct 2008

Page:

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

Admiral Grace Hopper
Coat

Marketing

"Which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know. Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?".

Mines the one with the pockets full of leaves.

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GitHub given Windows 9x's awesome and so very modern look

Admiral Grace Hopper

I've been in software long enough to have written software for Windows 3.1.

My first post-mainframe code was a Win 3.11 client/server development and I agree that the simplicity of the interfaces we designed then, driven by the limitations of the available resources, has an appeal that goes beyond mere nostalgia. When there are no distractions you can focus on how best to help the user best satisfy their needs.

Of course, I would never admit to having wasted hours playing with the GUI after years of staring at a green screen when I was set loose with a PC rather than a terminal. I would, however, state that returning to a green screen and the mainframe after many years of GUI-ing was like slipping between cool cotton sheets once more - refreshing and relaxing in equal parts.

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UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

Admiral Grace Hopper

"Actually I think she is a closet remainer and has a cunning plan"

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

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Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Those guestimates are just that guesses

"I really hop not."

Rimmer: I never agreed with my parents’ religion but I wouldn’t dream of knocking it.

Lister: What were they?

Rimmer: Seventh Day Advent Hoppists. They believed that every Sunday should be spent hopping. They would hop to church, hop through the service and hop back home again.

Lister: What’s the idea behind that then?

Rimmer: Well, they took the Bible literally. Adam and Eve, the snake and the apple, everything. Took it word for word. Unfortunately their version had a misprint. It was all based on 1 Corinthians 13, where it says “faith, hop and charity, and the greatest of these is hop.” So that’s what they did every seventh day. I tell you, Sunday lunchtimes were a nightmare. Hopping around the table serving soup. We all had to wear sou’esters and asbestos underwear.

32
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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Admiral Grace Hopper
Windows

Re: i can remember before windows

Some of us are still working on mainframe stuff. It still does what it's supposed to do, when you ask it to.

1
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MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

A colleague just asked me for an example of a double entendre so I gave him one.

35
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Cryptography is the Bombe: Britain's Enigma-cracker on display in new home

Admiral Grace Hopper
Facepalm

Re: Bletchley Park Trust vs The World carries on ?

I was thinking exactly the same thing. Having been to both several times down the years I have been mystified at the way that two complimentary organisations can be at loggerheads in such a mutually disadvantageous way. People, eh? Funny buggers at the best of times.

6
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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Admiral Grace Hopper

National Shite Day

Half Man Half Biscuit have had this covered for a while with National Shite Day.

They have also suggest holding an awareness week for awareness weeks.

12
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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Ah FUBAR

I used to work with someone known to all and sundry as "Spof". I assumed that it was a play on "Spock" until I'd worked with him long enough to realise that he was a Single Point Of Failure.

61
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A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Should have used COBOL.

"It's only sheer idiocy and masochism to move off it or use something else."

Quite so.

1
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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Admiral Grace Hopper
Stop

Whither Cornwallis?

Disappointingly, the Virginian Pilot seems to have embraced the spirit of the Battle of Yorktown with respect to GDPR. My Virginian news is being denied.

4
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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.

10
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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.

24
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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.

4
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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.

12
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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.

14
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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.

8
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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.

54
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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.

26
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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.

7
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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.

7
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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.

12
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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.

14
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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.

2
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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.

42
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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.

1
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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.

55
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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.

15
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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.

15
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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.

7
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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.

4
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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.

3
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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.

16
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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.

13
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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.

19
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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.

7
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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!'

19
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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.

38
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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.

46
2

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?

10
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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.

8
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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?

4
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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.

8
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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.

12
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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Admiral Grace Hopper

Re: Forth

"It's COBOL I despise."

Harumph.

2
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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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