* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1037 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Leave your password everywhere, or just tattoo it on your face

Once it is tattooed on your face it doesn't matter how bad your memory is as long as you can find a mirror (and you got it done in mirror writing).

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80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

Kevin Johnston
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Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

Not instead of, as well as.

Just because they decide to tax your company earnings as your salary, doesn't remove the need to pay Employer's NI or to pay your accountant or to pay VAT etc etc etc.

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Kevin Johnston
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Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

I suspect the extra time to read is because they are so different. It was easy to settle into the previous discworld books because they had a simple rhythm to them but Raising Steam went out on it's own rails scattering previous assumptions like confetti while Dodger was differently different as it was not Discworld. Even Carpet People and the Bromiliad at least had Gnomish characters and so were in a similar vein.

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India's Aadhaar national biometric ID scheme at risk after Supreme Court rules privacy is a right

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Is there any kind of valid comparison that has been done to other schemes?

I think the issue is not so much the creation of the ID and how it is secured but the aggregation of the data from the different locations in which it is used.

To be a valid form of ID it just needs to be possible to do a lookup to check against the master record and this is very simple to secure and set up audit trails for. What every Governments tries to do as soon as a digital ID is discussed is try to link every element of government, plus open doors to large corporations, for data sharing to 'improve the quality of the data'. This is where it all goes wrong amazingly enough

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Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Kevin Johnston
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Complaints

Not that the people wearing it will complain – as long as it keeps 'em alive, right?

Ummm, how many people will be in a state to complain if it fails?

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UK.gov to treat online abuse as seriously as IRL hate crime

Kevin Johnston
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Re: TLA?

No no no...surely everyone knows that the next step up from a TLA is a FLEA

Four Letter Extended Acronym

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British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins

Kevin Johnston
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Re: It looks like they were quite desparate to pin something on him, judging by the last paragraph:

I think that if you are trying to get in they refuse you but perversely if you are already in then you go directly to jail, do not pass go and never get back out

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Kevin Johnston
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Another good read

I have now worn out my copy of 'Pipeline to Battle' which tells the tale of getting water to the troops in North Africa. One of those books you truly can't put down and as an engineer you get an appreciation of just how bad it must have been by some of the struggles to achieve what should be simple things.

Amazingly it was first published in 1943

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Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding

Kevin Johnston
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I was working on a contract when the agency wanted to change the contract details. I read the new one carefully and challenged several clauses. The agency repeatedly failed to amend it as I requested and eventually they sent me a copy in Word for me to edit instead. It included the scanned signature for their senior manager so I completely re-wrote it making all the terms in my favour, printed it and signed it then sent it through to them. They made no comment so since there was only one copy with both parties had 'signed' then clearly that was the contract in force :)

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UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

Kevin Johnston
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Re: And at the Spring 2021 London Fashion Week shows...

No no no, you have missed the preferred option. Wear a mask of your 'favourite' politician or celebrity to cause maximum confusion.

There will be a small number of people who can go one better if they are part of a set of identical twins/triplets etc....Just think how much fun they could be having with this

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Possible or easy?

Oh I so agree with this. What is the point in contacting a Support line if you will not allow them to support you by explaining how to achieve what you are trying to do?

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Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey

Kevin Johnston
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Another outlier here...

My relatives are very grumpy about me not using Facebook to keep in touch and doubly grumpy when they wish me Happy Birthday when they should know full well it is not my birthday. When I set up my Facebook account I accidentally put a lot of incorrect data in there which causes confusion to everyone except me.

Really sad thing is I can't get back in to fix it as I have forgotten what DoB I entered which it wants to validate that I am me...so sad, never mind, must stop laughing

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Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Priorities!

My preference would be a web browser that doesn't get updates pushed at it daily needing it to spend an age downloading/deploying the update and then checking add-ons etc when all I wanted to do was quickly check when low tide was to walk the dogs on the beach.

How about a lightweight browser aimed at desktops rather than mobiles, too much to ask?

Please feel free to list all the ones I have managed to not discover :)

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Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"51% of the people thought he was the better candidate."

If I recall correctly, he actually had less of the raw votes but more of the constituencies (apologies, right-pondian here and I don't recall the label the left-pondians use for that),

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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Ghetto but good

Not sure why the downvote but the only PC/Server I ever kept current in my stack was the gaming PC. The others ran very happily on older hardware/OS and as they were never going to be stressed I was still running my email on a Compaq Proliant 530G1 until a year or so ago...Was sad to see it go but the replacement stepped it up a couple of generations.

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CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Fucking Heresy

Now me, I always preferred the Amber displays to the Green ones. Nice thing was it only seemed to be me so I could always find extras if I needed them

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The idiocy of this runs even deeper.

Sadly this is the norm for almost all legislation. It is is response to a situation which is not well understood in a changing landscape and even well-meaning laws never achieve the desired effect because they are mis-used or poorly worded or just too late to fix a problem which is no longer there.

My custard never set but I needed sugar

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Microsoft won't patch SMB flaw that only an idiot would expose

Kevin Johnston
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Re: the problem is Microshaft's design

He may be Bombastic but there is a perfectly valid point here. The default state for ports should be disabled with the minimum possible exceptions in order to get the box up and running. This may include core network ports but why would HTTP be enabled by default? That should get enabled as part of configuring the HTTP security rather than as soon as the server starts.

I am not going to claim I know which should or shouldn't be in that minimal set but wide-open is a poor choice for a starting point

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Australia's .au internet registry chair quits amid no-confidence vote

Kevin Johnston
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Deja vu

Now where have I seen behaviour like that before....

Something about a European Patent Office or something lie that?

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Strong and stable, my arse. UK wobbles when coping with ransomware

Kevin Johnston
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Mon crayon est jaune

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Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

Kevin Johnston
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Required software

It has often been said with the mildest hint of sarcasm that 80% of staff only ever needed Calc, Notepad and Paint to perform their jobs.

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Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests

Kevin Johnston
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Aha....I see a loophole

So this drone I have just designed...

8 engines in a regular octagon at 2 feet on each side and has 3 camera mounts plus a cargo hook with remote release.

Total weight with cameras mounted in flying trim? 100grams - thanks to the helium filled centre dome

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Kevin Johnston
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The thing to remember here is that EVERYTHING other than the core OS is an add-on in the eyes of MS and can be dropped at any time, this may be a result of the browser wars thing but more probably just the way the company split it out - 'you guys make the OS work and you other guys write the other bits' kind of thing . That includes backups, security, screen management etc whereas most other OS look beyond 'in a perfect world' to include some features for managing the device and recovery as part of the core. They don't have to be used but if you do they are fully integrated and...just work.

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Boffin supercharges FPGAs with timing signal tweak

Kevin Johnston
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Love the comment...

Too simple or too ingenious

So no one had thought of it before, it achieved exactly what he set out to do and will mean an improvement in technology....isn't that the whole point of a Phd thesis?

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User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

Kevin Johnston
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Re: "He would put in a (fake) trouble ticket and request me."

Sounds more to me like the customer recognised this was someone who actually put in the effort to find the cause rather than just following the script and wanted to keep him onside in case there were future issues.

Sadly, that level of thoroughness is often discouraged because it takes longer than a Helpdesk reset which makes the problem go away...Time is money you know and to hell with giving the curtomer a real solution

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'Coke dealer' called us after his stash was stolen – cops

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Florida Man

I saw a wonderful piece of TV where Sir Bob Geldof apologised for letting his company produce 'Castaways' which triggered Channel 4 to produce Big Brother etc etc etc. He said if he had realised where it would lead he would never have done it.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Kevin Johnston
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Old Dells

My old mahoosive 17" Dell laptop which I bought in 2001 still runs fine except for a minor problem with the hinges which suffered a little through user incompetence (OK, it was me..I dropped the bag it was in which landed on a corner where the foam was a little thin).

Currently on Mint but who knows what tomorrow brings...

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.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Kevin Johnston
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Almost off-topic

The last time I passed by Shoreham airport (Brighton Hove and Worthing Joint Municipal Airport for the purists) it still had it's airport beacon light flashing it's ident code in Morse

Ah, the good old ye Olde Days

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Kevin Johnston
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Bad move

This is far too complex a decision and allows more loopholes than it closes. The actual decision they should have made was to ban adverts that...

is all

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Kevin Johnston
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If I remember correctly there has been more than one airport ban the Auto-land function of the autopilot system because it is just too damn good and had everything landing on the same 10 foot stretch of tarmac causing it to break up.

All these systems are well thought out but need assistance in the boundary areas which for aircraft is Air to Ground/Water/Mountains (plus some oddities like other aircraft). For cars it is more complicated as you don't get to maintain speed/direction for very long before some interaction is required.

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What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

Kevin Johnston
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Surely that would have been on the hide wrapping which had to be shredded to open the box and included the phrase that damaging the wrapping is considered acceptance of the EULA

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Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders

Kevin Johnston
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Re: if the entire senior management team falls over in the forest...

I would have thought the answer was obvious from the huge cheer bursting forth from said forest as the team bites the loam. People near the scene may spot a glimpse of the BOFH and PFY strolling away pints in hand smiling at a job well done.

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Kevin Johnston
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Definitely need the moonbase, otherwise there will be nowhere to store the nuclear waste in order to get an unmanaged de-orbiting thrust. Would help if someone could get building the Eagles too :)

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Kevin Johnston
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Re: Doesn't compare.

According to my parents, I did that to the midwife as I was being born. Quite happy to use it for bragging rights even though I was only mostly there

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WannaCrypt blamed for speed camera reboot frenzy in Australia

Kevin Johnston
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Re: No internet, huh?

Colour me a N00b but how would a modem to upload the images to a Police server equal an internet connection?

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Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

Kevin Johnston
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An opinion

To paraphrase Garry Trudeau introducing Calvin and Hobbes...

The utterance an Adult may know to be a lie may well reflect a child's deepest conviction at the moment it pops out...Fantasy is so accessible that the people lied to assume they are being manipulated when the truth is more frightening; they don't exist.

You make your own assumptions about how many politicians/lawyers/CEOs could be the child this applies to

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Genoans flout terror ban with bumper basil hand baggage policy

Kevin Johnston
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I wonder

Does this count as an Intermission in the Security Theatre?

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Research suggests UK consumers find 'fibre' advertising misleading

Kevin Johnston
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Simples

Just require them to define their services based on the non-fibre bit which will be measured and rounded up in miles so:-

Fibre into the house=Fibre

Fibre to a cabinet just round the corner =1CopperMile/1CableMile

Fibre to the exchange=20CopperMiles/20CableMiles

Of course this is all pointless until OFCOM/ASA grow a set of balls

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UCL ransomware attack traced to malvertising campaign

Kevin Johnston
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Shocked

I am shocked I tell you

"happy to trade defence-in-depth strategies for single vendor reliance when moving to the cloud"

Moving to the cloud fixes everything, this salesman showed me a report on the internet so it MUST be true

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BT problems impact Department for Work and Pensions services

Kevin Johnston
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I bet the system has 'Smart' somewhere in the blurb sent to the users to say how awesome it is, probably got 'Resilient' too.

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Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Add it to the pile of coal.

Replacing the battery on my Land Rover Discovery needed a crane...

Have you SEEN the size of those batteries?

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Scottish govt mulled scrapping £178m car-crash IT system

Kevin Johnston
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Lessons learned

The failings of the programme mirror those of the CAP system in England and Wales.

So they took the plans for the England/Wales system and proved that if you keep doing things the same way you keep getting the same results. Surely there must be something which just needs values, rules and reports added and doesn't require them to keep re-inventing the wheel each time with continually changing numbers of spokes/sides/axles?

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Backdoor backlash: European Parliament wants better privacy

Kevin Johnston
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Re: π = 3.0

BS Johnson beat them to it when he developed the Sorting Machine

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Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

Kevin Johnston
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Re: "President Battistelli's term ends in June, 2018"

This rather assumes that one of the planned reform measures does not include using International standards for transfer of power. Just like the ones used in Zimbabwe, North Korea etc etc. aka Dead Men's Shoes

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Wi-Fi Dream Home Of The Future™ gets instructions for builders

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Trunking

Maaaany moons ago there was a company in Crawley (Rose Auto Supplies I think) that did a catalogue (yes it was that long ago) and the cover was always tongue-in-cheek.

One year was an electric claw hammer that came in mains or cordless but the one this story is bringing to mind is the dual mains sockets for retrofitting into buildings post-decoration. They were infra-red so no cables to run. They had an amazing number of enquiries apparently.

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Kevin Johnston
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Gave you an upvote but really, ethernet over mains? Was there no other choice?

I have managed to install discrete cabling on each house we have been in for some time now and have installed low-power wireless access points in appropriate locations where the kids insist on using their phones/tablets. If it is a laptop then use a bloody cable, you will get much better throughput than sharing a wifi link with half a dozen other bits of kit.

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Whisky snobs scotched by artificial tongue

Kevin Johnston
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waste of a taste

My Father-in-law converted me to drink single malts as he had an amazing collection but sadly he developed a medical condition which precluded him drinking them....Hmmm whatever was a good son-in-law to do? Oh yeah, drink it all for him so he didn't have to look at it any more

I have yet to find one I cannot form at least a temporary friendship with

:)

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

Kevin Johnston
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*Shudder*

That 'special tool' to drill into thick ethernet after clamping on a huge block of metal to allow an PC to be connected. And then finding some arse had ignored the 'connect here' markings and because of minimum separation you were not going to be able to connect enough to the carefully planned cable and you have to run a second along exactly the same route

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Amazon pulls snouts from all-you-can-eat cloud storage buffet

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Bah!

Well that was a shock

Just for giggles I had a search for a Parallel port card and I got tons of hits for PCI cards with parallel/RS232 ports. Makes me wonder if I should go back through my box of 'I may yet need this' kit to see what I could have another play with

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Axed from IBM for remote working? Don't go crying to HPE

Kevin Johnston
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Damn right it is down to good managers

In a previous life I was a field service engineer and if I was not at a customer site I was not making money for the company and had little activity I could be involved in.

One glorious sunny summer Friday lunchtime my manager was talking to me and said 'This is the sort of day to be walking a golf course and not sat in an office'. Taking the very broad hint I laid out a sequence of things I needed to do in other buildings and his response was 'See you Monday'. The flip side, when he called me on a Saturday morning to ask me to fly out to a customer in Jordan the next day for two weeks I said 'what flight?'

So many problems all come down to managers either not understanding their role or not being allowed to step outside of the box

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