* Posts by Jay 2

590 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros

Jay 2

Re: Gentoo

Our own in-house Linux platform first started life as Gentoo. Though over the years it's mutated into something rather different.

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Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Jay 2

Re: Don't wear high vis

I've had that too many times! Namely trying on a suit is MossBross, wearing a green Classic Team Lotus fleece in some DIY place, wearing an UMBRO top in some sports store and the worst of all being wearing a yellow Classic Team Lotus polo shirt in Ikea (where I was collared about 3 times).

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You love Systemd – you just don't know it yet, wink Red Hat bods

Jay 2

Re: Predictable names

I can't remember if it's HPE or Dell (or both) where you can use set the kernel option biosdevname=0 during build/boot to turn all that renaming stuff off and revert to ethX.

However on (RHEL?)/CentOS 7 I've found that if you build a server like that, and then try to renam/swap the interfaces it will refuse point blank to allow you to swap the interfaces round so that something else can be eth0. In the end we just gave up and renamed everything lanX instead which it was quite happy with.

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Jay 2

Ah yes, another systemd (RHEL?) annoyance in that by default the actual rc.local script is not set to be executable and that rc-local.service is disabled. It's almost as if someone doesn't want you to be using it.

Also in systemd, rc.local is no longer the last script/thing to be run. So in order to fudge something to work in rc.local I had to create an override module for rc-local.service that has a dependancy on the network being up before it runs.

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Jay 2

I can see some (well, one) benefit of systemd in the depandancies. So things may only start when a pre-requisite has been met.

Unfortunately that is outwighed by the annoyances. For me the worst is stuffing everything in a binary log and not telling you any error message when you restart the service. So you have to go hunting for an error message and in some cases just end up running manually what the service was meant to do just to see what it's complaining about. It's time I'd rather spend fixing the problem itself.

Like other commenters I tolerate systemd as it's part of RHEL/CentOS/Oracle Linux etc 7.x and that's what we have to use. Obviously that's no endoresement.

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New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties

Jay 2
Meh

I'm a bit bemused, but it's not the first time of such a merry-go-round. The same happened with The Producers. Original film in 1967, stage musical in 2001 and then a film of the musical (eh?) in 2005.

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My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

Jay 2

Re: Facetimers

^This! More so when they hold it horizontally like the vapid, fame-seeking, bollocks-spouting idots on The Apprentice.

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Most FTSE 100 boards kept in the dark about cyber resilience plans

Jay 2

The catch is to put over any such info in a simple non-threatening way so that the board members don't get bored and fall asleep or completely freak out as they don't quite comprehend what has been presented.

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Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket

Jay 2

Re: Inbedding a chip

Hmm, I now have to be careful of my cyborg cat!

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‘Dead weight’ Dell would destroy VMware’s value, says big investor

Jay 2

Silver Lake just want their pound of flesh and they don't give a toss about any collateral damage. Been there, done that. Not fun.

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It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Jay 2

Handy little things

Last year we needed to plonk an NTP server somewhere until we got out new time infrastructure in. Somewhat jokingly boss of boss suggested an RasPi. I thought about it and realised that it wasn't such a silly idea. So we purchased two (always have a backup!), threw on CentOS 7 (so they fit in with everything else) and aside from a USB dongle on one of them playing silly they worked fine for several months.

Once they were decommed from that use I took one home, threw on RiPTC and now use it as a VMware Horizon thin client to connect to work.

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Paul Allen's research vessel finds wreck of WWII US aircraft carrier

Jay 2

Re: lucky hit

Agreed.

Royal Navy victory = German fleet never came out to play again.

German victory = Lost fewer ships than the Royal Navy (which was not bad considering that the RN was probably the world's most powerful navy at the time, though it wouldn't stay that way for too long).

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Jay 2

Re: lucky hit

I seem to recall the Royal Navy also losing a few ships at Jutland due to something along the lines of bulkheads not being closed round the magazines. Hence Beatty's well-known remark of "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today".

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Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage

Jay 2

My first proper job, I was on the console of a test server (running UNIX) which I needed to reboot. So I typed in the shutdown command, pressed return and then wondered why instead of seeing the running commentary of the server shutting its services down I was faced with a disconnected telnet session message and the prompt of the test server...

...I then realised one of my collegues has rather stupidly logged into the prod server on the test server's console. So I'd just rebooted the prod server, as stupidly for me I hadn't checked whoch server I was typing the command on. I got away with it as we were a bit of a law unto ourselves, it was a stunningly good education of how not to run a data centre. Once I moved elsewhere I realised things were very different!

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Star Paws: Attack of the clones

Jay 2

I've never really seen the point of cloning a pet (as far as current science goes). Though whilst they may physically look like the deceased, they'll have a completely different personality. And to lift a quote from Pulp Fiction, "personality goes a long way".

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Comcast offers £22bn to snatch Sky from Rupert Murdoch

Jay 2

Re: P.S. Irish & UK competition regulator

Similarly in reverse I sometimes buy eBooks from Kobo, which are in EPUB format. In order to read them on my suitably old and creaky Kindle (which is MOBI or AZW only) then I load them into Calibre, strip the DRM out and convert them to MOBI. Somewhat annoying that I have to hoist the skull and crossbones flag etc in order to consume a legally purchased item.

Historically I've avoided buying from the Kindle store as the eBooks were locked to the Amazon account used to purchased them and were infested with DRM. Ironically I prefer to buy music from Amazon as it's in MP3, though it's been quite a while since Apple's AAC (or whatever it is) had DRM.

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Unlucky Linux boxes trampled by NPM code update, patch zapped

Jay 2

Re: Oh!

sudo can also allow a user A to run something as user B, without it leading to a shell being spawned as user B (in fact user B may not have aan acutal shell). I find that quite useful when trying to stop users trying to subvert some of the measures we've put in for security/audit.

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Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Jay 2

Can't agree enough. I commented at the time that no good would come of having three different (and non-compatible) products called Windows 8 and sharing the same interface. An interface that was an OK idea on touch devices, but was stunningly un-suited to a traditional keyboard/mouse setup. The most stupid thing is that as soon as the public saw/used Windows 8 on a PC in test/beta they said it was shit and Microsoft decided they were all wrong and continued as planned.

Windows 8 x86/x64 != Windows 8 RT != Windows Mobile 8 (or whatever it was called)

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Jay 2

Re: Error handling is hard - let's not do it!

Yes, I recall that with SP2 XP became OK. Didn't it also gain built-in Bluetooth driver at the same time (or was that SP3)?

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‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

Jay 2

Re: Not a crash but

Was that in a building known as Commodity Quay by any chance?

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DevOps: Bloody hell, we've got to think about security too! Sigh. Who wants coffee?

Jay 2
FAIL

From my experience (as a security-minded sys admin) security isn't anywhere on the radar/horizon of DevOps types. They think it's quite normal to drag in who-knows-what from the outside world to use every five mins. And then once it's in they'll have a long list of complaints that they can't do X, Y and Z because our (sane) security policies forbit it or that they've implemented something which doesn't conform to anything else we have.

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Who can save us? It's 2018 and some email is still sent as cleartext

Jay 2

On the subject of email clients I use Thunderbird on the Mac (s'OK I suppose) and Spark on the iOS stuff. Any of the default Apple mail clients drive me to distraction when I try to set them up as they constantly try and second guess what they think I'm after. Just let me put in all the sodding config myself then test it!

For my sins at work we've got Lotus Notes, of which the saving graces are that it's not as bad as it used to be and it's not actaually a dedicated emaul client as it does loads of other stuff too.

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Heart Internet outage... three days and counting

Jay 2
Meh

Unimpressed

It doesn't give off the impression that their setup/kit/etc is ideal. Things happen, but you shouldn't really ever be in the position of having a disk fail in a RAID 10 to cause such an outage. If it was multiple disks, then either someone wasn't monitoring or they used crappy disks (no excuse for either if hosting is your business!). And that's before you even mention the fact that their estate doesn't seem to support moving virtual machines to other hardware as other commenters have mentioned.

The only bit I have empathy with is when a disk goes, the RAID controller does its best, but a filesystem makes itself read-only until you can run an fsck/check. But still, at worst that's a reboot and a few hours. And if your business is hosting, you should be able to withstand a piece of physical hardware breaking.

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Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?

Jay 2

Indeed. I recall that the excellent Zombie Survival Guide did stress quite highly that fire does not initially kill/stop/slow the undead and in the meantime they will probably set fire to everything they come into contact with...

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Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe

Jay 2

Re: Hmmm ...

Oh dear god, you've reminded me of SCSI terminators. Now I'll be having nightmares where I have to figure out if it was a single-ended or differerntial I needed...

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New Sky thinking: Media giant makes dish-swerving move on Netflix territory

Jay 2

One slight problem for the consumer is that with a dish, things are relatively easy to troubleshoot for the engineer who will come round (dish, LNB, cable, STB). However if it's all over broadband then there's bound to be the usual (ISPesque) fobbing off that the problem is almost definatley not with Sky, but elsewhere. So in the worst case you'll have to juggle both Sky and your ISP to sort things out. On an equally bad case then Sky may be your ISP. And then throw in the entire BT/OpenReach thing that the ISP should be doing.

I'm sure it'll be mainly fine when it's all running, but wouldn't like to be around when something goes wrong.

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Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Jay 2

No, mine name iz Qvaid!

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What do we want? Consensual fun times. How do we get it? Via an app with blockchain...

Jay 2
Gimp

Back to the future

In the 80s flick Cherry 2000 things in society have got so bad, that people have to take lawyers with them to bars to draw on contracts before any hanky-panky can take place. Due to such things, the main protagonist prefers to have a sexbot.

To a certain extent, both those fictional things are now things.

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CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar

Jay 2

Re: What is difficult about setting a registry key ?

Ha! Haven't thought of that for a while, for good reason! I always hated the mid-80s requirement for cartoons to have some sort of younger, "edgy", annoying-as-fuck character such as Godzooky or (the worst offender) Scrappy Doo.

I'd like to think that The Simpson's use of Poochie in Itchy & Scratchy has hopefully stopped this sort of thing forever.

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Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

Jay 2

Ignoring the sailing-enthusiast elephant in the room it seems! Probably a mistake, as if you like them or not (usually the latter), it's usually quite difficult to forget said elephant.

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Ex-Autonomy exec agrees to be a witness for HP fraud case

Jay 2

Buyer's remorse

Translation: We had sod all before, but we've managed to coerce someone to allegedly spill some beans by using the stick of a million years prison time and the carrot of non-prosecution for something (which we can change our minds on later).

I'm sure it'll all come down to some sort of stitch up, all because HP had no idea what the hell they were buying.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Jay 2

Re: backward compatibility NOT a thing with Micro-shaft

Yep, I recall at the time I was looking for a new PC, but MS and the all the hardware manufacturers had colluded and decided that Vista = new hardware all round. For example my perfectly good scanner that worked fine with XP would be deliberately not supported in Vista due to a lack of drivers.

So in the end I got myself a Mac and could still use my scanner. I too have not looked back. Every now an again I fire up Win10 in a VM to see what's going on, and am reminded that I made the right choice.

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'Do the DevOps?' No thanks! Not until a 'blameless post-mortem' really is one

Jay 2
Unhappy

As a sys admin my biggest problem with devops is getting forced into supporting some convoluted buzzword-based crap that some devs have come up with, that pretty much ignores any conventional wisdom.

So we have Docker containers that are mimicing a proper server (when a virtual machine would be a better and easier option) using 2GB+ images. Pretty much the complete opposite of what a container should be...

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What will £450k buy you? A new CEO at Softcat

Jay 2
Happy

Happy Softcat customer here. For me at least they put the Value Add into VAR. Our account manager is always fairly quick to respond and able to help withever strange pre/post-sales technical query I have. This is in sharp contrast to some other VARs who seemingly can't even correctly read the server specs I send them...

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TalkTalk glitch causing mobiles and landlines to go off at the same time

Jay 2

Boom!

I first misread landline as landmine in the title. Still neither seems to be capable of doing voice communication in their current states.

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Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Jay 2

Re: "...a good percentage of the population is not suited to programming..."

Once upon a time I thought I was a good programmer (on BASIC/COMAL), until I got to University and then had to learn a new language (Modula-2) and the concepts that went with it. And whilst I was getting to grips with that we also had to dabble in Ada, Lisp, C and some other stuff. My problem was that I couldn't adapt the concepts to the language spec easily.

Fortunately I got a lucky break along the way and became a sys admin. I do quite a lot of coding in shell scripts and little bits of Python/Perl where needs be, but would never consider myself to be a proper programmer.

When it comes to the more technical doing stuff bits in IT (be it hardware or software), I find that people generally have a knack and are interested or they aren't.

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Snap, crackle ... patch! Apple kicks out iOS 11.0.2 to tackle crappy calls, fix email glitches

Jay 2

Still on 10, maybe I should wait until 11.0.3? I have to somewhat agree with the first post, there were quite a few people on the beta (I know of two). Though at times like this I do wonder how many people on the beta were active (bug reporting) participants and how many just wanted to play with the latest and greatest(ish).

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd reads 'mean tweets' about his 2025 vision

Jay 2

If Oracle are all about the cloud, maybe they can do something about the appaling state of their ULN repos for Oracle Linux. They're slower than a glacier and it takes minutes just to get a yum repolist all to complete (takes seconds on a similar RHN setup), so it's completely unusable. And the most insane bit? That's the stuff you pay for! The free repos on some other CDN are fine...

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Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

Jay 2

Re: It's the singer, not the song

No, they also need a fairly decent car. Just look at Schumacher's near misses in the late 90s. I'm not the biggest fan of his, but he could really hustle a car when he needed to. One of best example was the 1996 Ferrari F310 which was a real disaster and he still managed to grab some wins in it. In fact I have heard that in his collection of F1 cars that he's driven, that one is noticably absent!

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Jay 2

Re: Results speak for themselves.

Well if you recall Vettel's last year at RedBull when the current engine formula was ushered in, he was beaten in the drivers championship by team mate Ricciado. After finding the previous few years' chassis/engine combo to his liking (for whatever reasons), the same could not be said for that final year. I also recall that was about the time Adrian Newey took a step back from the F1 car slightly to do a few other things.

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Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Jay 2

Re: FlightControl

It would appear that EA (who now hold the rights to Flight Control) dropped it a few years back as they couldn't be bothered to support it any longer. They've already got your money, why do they care?

Annoying as it was also one of the first games I purchased too.

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Jay 2

Re: Ugh

Whilst checking though what apps are going to potentially stop working I noted that all my 2K games (CivRev, Pirates, Ace Patrol, AP: Pacific Skies) are in the list. Also annoyingly I found that EA dropped Flight Control some time back.

I guess as they've both already got my money, they don't care...

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

Jay 2
Happy

I belive Bond villan emulator Musk is a fan of Banks' sci-fi writings and has therefore named things accordingly in tribute/homage. Long may it continue!

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London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

Jay 2

Re: Delay by design

Oh yes. Walk into Monument and follow the signs to the Northern line (and proibably DLR) and you'll end up going all over the place through a warren of tunnels and it will take you a good few minutes. However a more direct route is to walk down to the Eastbound Disctrict/Circle platform then proceed to the Northern line.

Obviously they don't want the corridor that links the N and D/C lines to become completly clogged, but the official route is somewhat round the houses.

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VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

Jay 2

Re: Did He Have An Option ???

That sort of reference is pretty standard nowadays, and is carefully worded so that the company doesn't get into any (further) legal problems. I'm not a great fan of it myself, but remember this sort of thing is drafted by HR who you must always remember are looking after the company's interests and not yours.

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New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

Jay 2

Ah, I think I'll blame the MBA for this disaaster then. She should have stuck to business stuff, and left the IT procurement to someone who doesn't think that Windows on device A means Windows on device B because they're both Windows.

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Singapore court awards $2.9m over bad job reference

Jay 2

Same here, makes things a lot easier (on both sides) as it doesn't go into detail.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Jay 2

Damn fine coffee...

Hmm, it would appear that I haven't done many of the things that I should have done before watching the new series of Twin Peaks, no wonder I have no idea WTF is going on half the time!

Admittedly I haven't watched the first two series since they came out, but I'm somewhat sure they didn't used to be a strange as the current one (quirky yes, but not so downright WTF).

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Jay 2

For me, I would expect the following:

Sausages, bacon, eggs (fried or scrambled), beans, grilled tomato, some buttered toast and a cuppa, the availability of both tomato and brown sauce

Optional extras that I wouldn't say no to, but are not essential:

Black pudding, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread, orange juice

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Jay 2

Re: I'm waiting...

With aplogies to Toni Basil et al

Hey Siri, you're so fine / You're so find you blow my mind / Hey Siri etc...

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