* Posts by J.G.Harston

1609 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

J.G.Harston
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Re: get out quick

I was rewiring my brother ex-council house 20 years ago. Pulled the "downstairs lights" fuse and the stair lights go out. Ok, sorted, that's the right fuse. Start working on the electrics - bang! After a sit down and a cuppa, investigation turns out that the stairs lights - one light at bottom, one at the top, switch at the bottom, switch at the top - somebody had decided that naturally, that had to be wired to both the downstairs fuse *and* the *upstairs* fuse.

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

J.G.Harston
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Don't you remember last week's On Call? You have to talk softly to the printer and give it a hug.

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Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

J.G.Harston
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Ah yes, The Mail already has permission to print Snowden's "Charles, Diana and William", so I can take a copy and print it myself!

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UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

J.G.Harston
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The reasons for this are varied...

Most IT people have penises, and in our society anybody with a penis who wants to work around children is a kiddie fiddler?

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Almost 1 in 3 Brits think they lack computer skills to do their jobs well

J.G.Harston
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Facepalm

Only a third?

Ha!

Just a couple of days ago I was called by my neighbour who works for the council from home. "I can't find the file I saved earlier!"

- Ok, go through what you did to save it.

+ Opens email, opens document in email, modifies document, selects Save, dialogue opens to Temporary Internet Files.

- Ok, when did you save it?

+ Yesterday

- You see that name "Temporary", that means "temporary" as in not permanant, as in everything gets deleted in there from time to time, usually when you log off. You shouldn't save things there, you should be saving in My Documents or somewhere. Here, do that again and here, click there and there to save in your Documents.

a bit of practise, and time passes...

+ So how do I find that file then?

- Go to your Documents, how do you do that on here? Try that Start button, ok there: 'Documents'.

+ But where is it?

- Well, that's just the first ten entries, they're all directories, try scrolling down to find the files, scroll down, no down, no, click there and, no! not there, scroll, see that thing there, it's called a scroll bar, scroll it by, no! stop!, let me!, like this!

Scrolls on forever, more than 500+ files in Documents.

- You really should organise things in subdirectories.

+ Oh, that's too difficult

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Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

J.G.Harston
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Re: I can see where this will lead

When I first read Asimov I pictured R. Daneel as "mediterranean" complexion - "dark haired and with bronzed skin" I think he is described as.

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

J.G.Harston
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Re: what the fuck does PC LOAD LETTER mean?

P(aper) C(arrier is empty of the expected letter sized paper,) LOAD (the carrier with) LETTER (sized paper).

Printer has A4 paper, document or printer driver has been laid out to print on Letter paper.

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

J.G.Harston
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Re: The problem

It's not phonetics that's the problem, it's phonics.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: "... misplaced apostrophe's, ..."

Agh! And subject-verb-counting mismatches. So.... hard... to... read... without screaming!

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'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist

J.G.Harston
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6580?

So, an 80-bit 6502?

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Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

J.G.Harston
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A51 Technologies

So, just outside Chester?

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Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway

J.G.Harston
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I was once asked for directions to the Lap Latta club. It took several goes before I realised they were looking for the La Plata club behind me.

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FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

J.G.Harston
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Facepalm

Back door access

Surely the answer is: if *we* can put a man on the moon, that means *everybody* *else* can too!

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

J.G.Harston
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Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

How do you transport your wealth in a hurry if it needs five trucks to move it?

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HPE supercomputer is still crunching numbers in space after 340 days

J.G.Harston
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you mean...

crunching numbers IN SPAAAAAACCEE!

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

J.G.Harston
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Re: Yep, I'm posting AC. But thats due to the internet never forgetting.

We want British people to make decisions about British matters.... wait, what, a court case to force the British Parliament to decide on how to progress British relations with the EU? British lawmakers trying to decide British law regarding the EU? No!!! We didn't mean that!

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J.G.Harston
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Re: How I see it.

But "business as usual" would have been taken by the usual suspects to mean "full steam ahead into abolishing the nation state and fully subsume into a supra-national state"

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J.G.Harston
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Re: eh?

WTO does *NOT* insist that tarrifs must be applied. The only insist that if we ***CHOOSE*** to apply tariffs that they be no higher than 5%. Zero is no higher than 5. Zero is fully allowable and encouraged by WTO rules. Seeing as some EU tariffs are currently 60%+ WTO rules would actually mean us being forced to ****REDUCE**** tariffs.

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Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto

J.G.Harston
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Nah, it goes: one you you one for me, two for you one two for me, three for you one two three for me....

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Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

J.G.Harston
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The HMRC site barfs on "special" characters anywhere you use them. "Note: 50% of income in 2015-16 after the first £500..." Barf! Sorry, can't accept that! No reason given, but by experimentation you have to remove : % - and - !!!! - £. When trying to submit your bloody taxes!

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J.G.Harston
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I once worked at an organisation that rolled out logon ids that were First Initial, Last Initial, Payroll Number (eg lh891234). Except for our small department who had started before this roll-out. Whenever we contacted the HelpDesk we had to go through the rigmarol of "your ID is your payroll number..." No it isn't! "Yes it is, your ID is your payroll number..." No! Listen to me!

It was a struggle, but we eventually forced them to migrate us to the "standard" logon ID scheme.

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Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

J.G.Harston
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Re: Missing the obvious

Wel, if the people who would benefit from the leaks being fixed would be prepared to pay for their benefit, it would happen fairly quickly.

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Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart

J.G.Harston
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tell the difference between lager and pilsner

But pilsner *is* a lager. It's like saying you can tell the difference between vegetables and carrots.

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

J.G.Harston
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Hoover don't make Henries, they make Hoovers. Numatic make Henries.

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

J.G.Harston
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Re: Only yesterday...

How the farking zarquon do you obstruct your FACE by using a telephone?

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J.G.Harston
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Re: They have a point.

You can also invite them around and let them discover their spy kit is too big to physically fit.

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J.G.Harston
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There's also the reacharound, where they hold the phone in hand A pressed against ear B.

And the spit-tray, where the phone is held horizontally about a foot in front of the mouth in a way that makes it look like it's infectious.

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Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025

J.G.Harston
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"UK.gov should partly subsidise the roll out to rural and remote communities"

.gov? The US government should pay? Ok then.

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Did you know? The word 'Taiwan' would crash iOS thanks to a buggy filter for the Chinese govt

J.G.Harston
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蒂姆,我们告诉你谨慎!

Ooo dear, that doesn't come out very well if you read it as Japanese. :D

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Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

J.G.Harston
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A nice tribute to Steve Ditko, RIP.

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Imagine a patent on organizing computer files being used against online shopping sites. Oh, it's still happening

J.G.Harston
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It seems like they're trying to claim patent protection on the 'if' statement.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

J.G.Harston
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I'd been moved into a new office, along with our filing cabinets. At some point the key to one of the cabinets vanished. So, I came in at the weekend with some tools and with reference to the openable cabinet discreetly peeled back a corner of the back panel and slid out the locking bar.

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'Coding' cockup blamed for NHS cough-up of confidential info against patients' wishes

J.G.Harston
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It's 'cos it dates from the days is was SYSTMONE.EXE

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Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

J.G.Harston
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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

How does insurance replace my great-grandmother's letters and photos, my research papers, my 30+ years coding and documentation archives, my reference prototypes....?

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Registry to ban Cyrillic .eu addresses even if you've paid for them

J.G.Harston
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It's as though the EU doesn't beleive in property rights. You pay for something, you own it, and at a whim the government can take it off you.

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Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

J.G.Harston
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Re: Rasperry Pi fail

The Pi is today's "CPU". In the '70s you'd start with a CPU and build a design around that, now you start with a Pi and build a design around that. It's similar to the productivity change with wallwarts, I wasted too much of my youth building power supplies when I was wanting to be building my project instead, ubiquotous wallwarts reduced that to padding a PSU socket.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: 3 ring binders

The ARM has the NeVer condition code.

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J.G.Harston
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But "Word and Excel and stuff" *is* ICT. You're thinking "ICT" means "programming", it doesn't, it's today's "using a pen and paper" - just plain functional literacy. You're seeing "driving" and complaining it's not teaching automotive engineering.

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Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

J.G.Harston
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Re: Data format parsing

Ditto phone numbers. 01177722220000 is impossible for a human to parse, 0117 922 2000 is. I encountered this exactly yesterday in hospital when trying to confirm my emergency contact number with a triple-one in the middle printed on my forms with no formatting was correct.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Backend bod: "Either way is fine"

Excel goes out of its way to try and interpret anything as a date.

"11/12","High Street" becomes "11-Dec","High Street"

And if that wasn't bad enough, it will try and translate strings into numbers

"12E2" because "1200"

"01709" becomes "1709"

"123456789012345" becomes "12345678901E4"

"-" becomes "-0" !!!!

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

J.G.Harston
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Re: The ONLY things going for it were

I tweeked that on our installations.

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Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

J.G.Harston
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Something similar happened to me once in the middle of a system build. I had a dozen machines imaging from the server and suddenly the imaging all fell over with "server not found" type messages. I tried restarting them only to keep getting "invalid logon" messages. I was munching at a sandwich wondering what to do next when my site manager wandered past and said: "I've just been told your contract ended last Friday". Oh, nobody had told me. Well, ok then, it's a nice July day, went home, emailed my agency and ensured I got paid for the 2.25 days work I'd done.

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Do UK.gov wonks understand sci-tech skills gap? MPs dish out Parliamentary kicking

J.G.Harston
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Re: So many issues...

The problem is, you see the words "Computer Science" and take it at its words and you think it is actually computer science. It isn't, it's typing. It's the today's IT equivalent of teaching how to use a pen and paper was 50 years ago. It's advertising "automotive engineering" and teaching you how to drive a car.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Stream the schools not the children

"Anyone who remembers the 1970s comprehensive systems will remember how poor they were because so little was expected of those who went."

You've got that the wrong way around, I was there. Anyone who remembers the 1970s comprehensive systems will remember how *GOOD* they were because so much was done to provide teaching appropriate to the abilities of the pupils instead of square-pegging everybody. My school was in the first wave of comprehensives in my city and featured in Panorama or World in Action (can't remember which) as parents jumped through hoops to try and get out of grammar-school catchment areas to get into the catchment.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Stream the schools not the children

Streaming by schools doesn't work. What do you do with the kid who's in the top 20% in maths, but the bottom 20% in French? Go to Grammar school on Monday morning, then Secondary Modern after morning break, then back to Grammer after lunch. No, the only workable system is streaming *within* a school, so you're in Mr Giles' maths class at 9:30, then Mrs Chamber's French class at 10:30 *in* *the* *same* *building*.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Stream the schools not the children

"So in a class of 30 there are already 10 not really at home there."

So what idiot is putting them together in that one class? Each 20% should be in their own class with their own 20%-ers, not mixed up randomly with other people.

Oo, wait a bit, disparity of acheivement is anathema to the all-must-achieve mindset, so mixing up abilities randomly is the intention, not an accident.

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J.G.Harston
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There isn't a skills gap, there's an employers-prepared-to-get-off-their-arse-and-employ-people gap.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

J.G.Harston
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Re: ID isn't the problem

Legally, an expired passport is a valid form of ID, as it demonstratably demonstrates who the holder is, it just isn't a valid form of travel documentation.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: ID isn't the problem

Every time I see GCHQ and CCHQ it takes me several second to work out which I'm reading.

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'90s hacker collective man turned infosec VIP: Internet security hasn't improved in 20 years

J.G.Harston
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"This is pre-internet, 1992"

BZZZTTT!! 1992 is *not* pre-internet, I was using the internet in 1987 and existed for over a decade before then. 1992 isn't even pre-web, the web started in 1989.

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