* Posts by Mike Lewis

109 posts • joined 18 Apr 2009


We've read the Mueller report. Here's what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████

Mike Lewis

How was it redacted?

If it's a PDF file, it might be possible to find out what's under the black boxes.

Samsung's tricksy midrange teasers want your flagship catch

Mike Lewis

The A80 ditches both headphone jack...

I stopped reading at that point.

London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

Mike Lewis

Not much sympathy

I lost sympathy for Assange when he went after Clinton which helped Trump get elected. Plus the whole cat thing.

US firm wins Oz-backed bid to block Huawei from subsea Pacific cables

Mike Lewis

Cisco's code is patched by the NSA.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

Mike Lewis


When I started working at the Melbourne branch of Nokia, they flew a bunch of us to Finland for training. The trip up was fine, not so much the trip back. It took me 36 hours to travel from Oulu in northern Finland to Melbourne. I finally arrived at 4:30 a.m. and the company rules said I had to be in the office by nine.

One of our programmers was told to fly to California, rent a car then drive to Petaluma. She wisely decided it was not a good idea to drive a strange car on the wrong side of the road after a 14-1/2 hour flight and at 4 a.m. her time so she spent a night in a hotel. She got into a lot of trouble for that with Melbourne and Petaluma having a pitched battlle over who was responsible for her hotel bill.

It's a hard drive ahead: Seagate hits the density problem with HAMR, WD infects MAMR with shingles

Mike Lewis

Re: But...but...

Another bubble that burst.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either

Mike Lewis

Re: Finally....

That's called "working from home".

Microsoft 'welcomes dialog' over HoloLens use by the military, but doesn't have to listen

Mike Lewis

Don't worry

I wouldn't worry about it. It's from Microsoft so it either

1. won't work

2. will work but not well

3. has such a bad UI that you can't get it to work

4. updates itself while you are trying to shoot someone, or

5. leaks the user's location to the enemy.

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

Mike Lewis

Vic-20 BBS

In 1984, I wrote a BBS for a Commodore Vic-20 with multiple rooms (message areas), email and an online game. Users could start their own rooms and make them public or private. It was very popular with users spending an average of 70 minutes on it.

One of my users got me my first job as a programmer, saying "Anyone who can wrte a BBS for a Vic can program!" Thirty-five years later, that same guy now wants me to work with him at Google.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Mike Lewis

Re: Remember Y2K?

I fixed my first Y2K bug in 1988. I was looking at some air conditioning control software when I saw the bug and thought "Buildings stay up for a long time. There's a good chance this software will be running for decades."

Maybe I should have told somebody.

Microsoft’s Bing dinged: What happened, Xi Jinping?

Mike Lewis

In other words...

Bing goes bung.

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Mike Lewis

Any love for Windows 7?

I'd be happy if they put out a Windows 7 update for January that I can trust.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

Mike Lewis

Re: what?

and logs in plain text.

Just updated Windows 7? Can't access network shares? It isn't just you

Mike Lewis

Re: (KB4480970) Also hoses Windows 7 32 bit on Tosh Lappy

Oh bother! Cue distress call from my mum in 3..2..1..

I turned on automatic updating as I thought it would make things easier for her.

FCC tosses aside rules, treats Google to a happy ending following request for handy tech

Mike Lewis

This will not end well

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive--you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

From "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.

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

Mike Lewis

I remember being turned down for a job as a games programmer. They hired a COBOL programmer instead who didn't know what an interrupt was and didn't believe them when they tried to explain.

Stop us if you've heard this one: Facebook apologizes for bug leaking private photos

Mike Lewis

Move fast, break things, apologise later.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

Mike Lewis

Never attribute to malice...

that which can be blamed on outhouse staff.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

Mike Lewis

Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

> AHahaha, I'd never do any of those things, would I?!

What do you mean? I've been taking notes.

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

Mike Lewis

As Thijs-vr on Reddit said

Canberra is filled with a bunch of retards when it comes to anything with a current running through it.

If you ever felt like you needed to carry 4TB of data around, Toshiba's got you covered

Mike Lewis

Re: Eggs. Basket.

My backup drives are different sizes or, if the same size, different manufacturers to reduce the probablity of two failing at the same time. I have three copies of everything with the disks connected to my computer only when I update them. I also have a USB stick on my keyring with my absolutely must not lose data (1963 audio recording of my family members, old photos).

I've always been of the opinion that backups are not done unless I do them. That turned out to be fortunate at one company when the sysadmin deleted all my work while I was on holiday. He said he thought I had left the company. Fortunately, I had backups on computers in other states that he didn't know about. At another company, doing my own email backups was fortuitous when the email server crashed, taking all its data with it, and the backup tapes didn't work.

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork

Mike Lewis


I shudder to think what MS popcorn would be like. There would be problems with those kernels too.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing

Mike Lewis

Re: Is the UK ready for Brexit in any way?

> We keep being told it's 95% done.....

There's an old saying: The first 95% takes 95% of the time. The last 5% also takes 95% of the time.

Pull request accepted: You want to buy GitHub, Microsoft? Go for it – EU

Mike Lewis

Perhaps I'm too cautious but...

I figure it's only a matter of time before the more useful bits of private GitHub projects start turning up in Microsoft software or as Microsoft products.

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

Mike Lewis

CRTs and Backups

Fun times were had when a team of software engineers kept getting corrupted backups on a Sony DAT (remember those?) so off to the repair shop it went. The shop couldn't find anything wrong but the team's backups were still being corrupted so the DAT, cable and controller card were bundled up and sent off. No errors detected. Then they asked me to have a look at it and I spotted the problem right away. They had laid the cable connecting the controller card to the DAT across the top of a 21" CRT. Cable moved, problem solved.

Still holding out on Windows 10? Microsoft tempts upgrade with virtual desktop to Azure

Mike Lewis

Re: No...

When my Windows 7 computer can no longer be resuscitated and I have to downgrade to one with Windows 10 and its GUI (Godawful User Interface), I'll be running Linux with a Windows client in VirtualBox for the (hopefully few) software programs that still need it.

UK.gov went ahead with under-planned, under-funded IT upgrade? Sounds about right

Mike Lewis

Re: The usual

> The important thing is to make a decision when you said you were going to make a decision.

That reminds me of "battle mode". The early targetting computers in the 1960s would occasionally lock up and not produce any results at all. The solution was to install a switch labelled "battle mode". That switch would produce an output - true, it was the wrong output - but it gave the artillery something to aim at.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Mike Lewis

Re: Keyboard Cleaning

Back in the day when keyboards were too expensive to just throw away, one of my programmers was having problems with the keys. I told him to open it up and spray it. I meant with Freon; he used WD-40. He spent the rest of that morning cleaning it out.

Good news, bad news, weird news – it's the week in networking

Mike Lewis

ATC over IP

Interesting. When I was writing software for the audio part of an air traffic control system, we had backup channels on each communications card, backup communications cards, backup racks and two generators. Four things would have had to go wrong at the same time for the air traffic controllers to even notice there was a problem.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Mike Lewis

Re: governments can always legislate

It was Malcolm Turnbull, our former Prime Minister, who said "The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

Mike Lewis

Re: Cock-up or conspiracy?

You mean even Intel doesn't read their EULA?

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

Mike Lewis

OCR errors could explain the missing characters in notie, amountof and cred but not the swapped or incorrectly typed characters in hte, guitly, dteailed and issus.

IBM, ATMs – WTF? Big Blue to probe cash machines, IoT, vehicles, etc in new security labs

Mike Lewis

Democracy inaction

Are they going to probe voting machines too?

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

Mike Lewis

Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

My grandfather always said "If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No sense being a damn fool about it."

Windows 10 IoT Core Services unleashed to public preview

Mike Lewis


> the Windows Update infrastructure on which the service runs is very much tried and tested

Is that the same one which struggles to update Windows 7?

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

Mike Lewis

Multiple screens?

If you need two screens, can you grab two Chromebooks? I've found it useful to have one screen for email and documentation and another for editing, compiling and testing.

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

Mike Lewis

You can use picture hooks for cooling


Mike Lewis

Re: I always like when people put flammable materials...

When I started working at one company, I saw that they were storing half-empty paint tins in the same cupboard as the fuse box. That cupboard was located between our offices and the stairs, cutting off escape if it caught fire. I got my manager to move them.

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Mike Lewis

Re: Only cracking I have done is

A program I was using on a UNIX box was setuid root. It had a menu option to start a shell which turned out to be a root shell. I reported the security hole to the sysadmin and my manager and thought nothing more about it. One day, the sysadmin was away and we had four programmers starting. My manager asked me to break in and set up their home directories. I did so and told the sysadmin what I had done when he returned so he could check my work. He was fine about it but my manager was furious that I had told him, saying the sysadmin would fix the problem so we couldn't break in any more. That didn't happen. Every four to six weeks, I'd get a call from the sysadmin saying he had forgotten the root password and asking me to break in to reset it.

Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

Mike Lewis

In other words...

the cloud started raining.

Now Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design

Mike Lewis

Re: It's been a long time..

Windows 10 was pretty jaw dropping. They managed to turn Comic Sans into an operating system.

Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

Mike Lewis

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Someone on a Microsoft forum asked how to add Copy to Folder and Move to Folder to the context menu of File Explorer on Windows 10. The MVP advised them to reinstall Windows. I knew it was a registry edit in Windows 7 so I ran Windows 10 as a VM, made the changes, found that they worked and posted the results. The next thing I knew, I got a message from the MVP congratulating me on having solved my problem. WTF?

Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Mike Lewis

What will happen during a war?

What worries me about the F-35 is that we're having so much trouble with them under ideal conditions. What happens during a war when local factories have been bombed and international trade is disrupted so we can no longer get parts? Cannibalising broken planes to make a working one can only go so far and 3D printing of parts made from exotic high-temperature materials is not yet possible.

nbn™ ponders a gamers' gate to throttle heavy wireless users

Mike Lewis

What about video streaming?

I would have said that video streaming uses more data than gaming. If he thinks it's bad now, wait until 4K takes off.

Telstra's mobile networks go TOESUP* in national outage

Mike Lewis

AAPT too

AAPT, upon whom Exetel depends, went titsup at the same time and in the same areas. I wonder if there's a connection (or lack of one).

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

Mike Lewis

Whenever there was a problem with a computer, the CTO would sit down in front of it, confirm there was a problem then hand it over to the accountant. The accountant was quite good at fixing computers and networks. This was a company making medical equipment, by the way.

Intel: Our next chips won't have data leak flaws we told you totally not to worry about

Mike Lewis

Between Scylla and Charybdis

It's hard to decide between upgrading to a meltdown-free CPU with Windows 10 and keeping my newly-hobbled CPU with Windows 7.


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