* Posts by Jay 2

614 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


SpaceX enjoys three whole seconds of fire and fury on Pad 39A

Jay 2

Re: 3 seconds

Patrick, is that you? Better scan the Zagat for somewhere else to go...

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual

Jay 2

"...programming skills assessed only via examination..."

At university I was finding out the hard way that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a programmer (am now a sys admin). Part of that voyage of discovery was the first year exams, one of which was pretty much designing and coding on paper for 3 hours. I think I got an E for that one. I wasn't the greatest fan of having to do something rather computer-centric, without an actual computer. Aside, yes I know in the very old days that's how people did stuff, but I'm pretty sure we'd moved on from that in the 1990s.

On the flip side to all this it's obvious that the coursework element to such a subject, moreso when it is actually coding, is just far to easy to subvert via a multitude of methods. Quite what the best answer to this problem is I'm not sure. I guess there is the concept of coding within a time limit in some sort of closed condtions, though I've managed to screw up such things myself too (the pressure, the pressure!).

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

Jay 2

Me too. My 6S was the first new handset I purchased (the rest have been hand-me-downs from brother, 2nd hand from fleaBay or work devices). My days of wanting the latest tech shiny are not what they were and as far as I'm concerned my 6S does everything I want it to. So no point in upgrading. And even then I really don't like how the iPhone has evolved. No 3.5mm jack and a move from fingerprint scanning to facial recognition do not fill me with joy.

On subject when I saw that Apple were offering a new battery (all kosher with warranty etc) for £25 I jumped at the chance. The previous battery was still OK, but a slight bit of preventive maintenance never hurts.

So this will delay me in purchasing a new iPhone, but if Apple/industry/analysts/shareholders think I'm going to buy a new device ever year "because", they are sadly mistaken. For all Apple's problems, "innovations", lack of upgradability/fixing and dumbing-down, they do generally tend to make kit that not only physically lasts, but is supported too.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

Jay 2

Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

I once knew someone who ran xxx25.com (or something similar) which had very graphic pictures of the insides of servers and their cabling...

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

Jay 2

Re: Much-adored Linux toolkit...

Yeah sort of, but unless you bugger about even more with dependancies you can't be sure it'll be the last thing to be run.

Jay 2

Re: what?

^ Dear $deity this! That's probably my biggest complaint about systemd. So when I change the config of something then start the service if if bombs out just show me the bloody error message!

But no, we have to use another util which mostly tells you sod all about what really went wrong and you have to hunt around for the original command, then run that yourself just to see the actual error message.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Jay 2

Work mobile on O2 and my own on GiffGaff. So no data for me. Though I'm stuck in an office all day with web and wifi, so not the end of the world. Though the lack of calls/texts earlier was somewhat annoying.

I now await the examples of rage from users on Twitter who have based their entire existence on O2 infrastructure... If it's that important, have some sort of backup.

Accenture in doghouse after NHSmail mass outage cuts off 1m+ UK health staff

Jay 2


I keep reading it as NHSnail.

As sales slide, virtual reality fans look to a bright, untethered future

Jay 2

I recall another commenter saying something along the lines of "dross in 3D is still dross".

The move to HD got the TV manufacturers all excited that they could flog more kit if they just threw a new bit of tech in. They conviniently overlooked that SD->HD was quite a useful jump as not only did it look good, but there was increasing content and the not-so small factor that many people don't change TVs every few years (my previous TV was 9 years old). So then we see them bigging up 3D, curved screens, smart TVs etc

Anyway, back on subject. Dross in VR is still dross.

Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch, finance VP Stephen Chamberlain charged with fraud in US

Jay 2

Caveat Emptor and buyer's remorse

So much for all that due dilligence HP and PWC did then... It still looks to me like HP had a rather large bout of buyer's remorse.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

Jay 2

Re: Shhhh...

Once upon a time we had two RasPi providing NTP at a CoLo as a fudge until we got some proper time appliances sorted. They worked much better than I expected. Once decommed I re-used one as my remote access solution from home using the Raspberry Pi Thin Client Project (Linky).

Watch Series 4: What price 'freedom'? About as much as you'd expect from an Apple product

Jay 2

Re: Just seen the TV advert

I'm amused that it's marketed at people so stupid that need a reminder to stand up. I may have a bit of Apple kit about, but I'm still completely unconvinced by the Apple Watch. Plus I've got a perfectly good watch that doesn't need recharging every few days or some sort of mobile connectivity to work properly.

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

Jay 2

Hmm, it's almost a "Who Me?" story. Not one of the better Friday offerings to be honest.

Sopra Steria exec on warpath as its UK Government profit crashes ... by millions

Jay 2

Re: Translation

That's *exactly* how I read it too.

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

Jay 2


Somewhat ironic that the HSBC telephone number has 404 in it, twice.

'Incommunicado' Assange anoints new WikiLeaks editor in chief

Jay 2


Maybe they should constantly play Marillion's nice tune at him until he decides that he doesn't want to be incommunicado any more and so exits his broom cupboard and embassy by choice to get some of that lovely wifi.

Though it may be a brief flirtation as I don't think the Met or HMP offer wifi either....

TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

Jay 2

I must have been one of the lucky ones, I managed to log in around 1630 yesterday. Fortunately for me it's not my main account. Though there must be quite a bit still broken as before the big debacle if you already had an account you could apply for others online. After the debacle that all stopped ("coming soon") and it's only recently that they've started to allow online applications again for some account types.

As I'm a bit of a rate tart, then I've got quite a few accounts from different providers. It may pain me to say it, but TSB's front end is a lot better (eg clean and easy to navigate) than some of its competitors.

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Jay 2

Re: That sinking feeling

I believe the amount of time between pressing key/mouse button and realising something not good will happen is called an ohnosecond.

Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25

Jay 2

Re: 16MB?

I recall that was the Win 95 CD.

Western Digital wonders why enterprise isn't keen on its solid-state drives

Jay 2

Re: Supplier markup on new hardware

I agree. Though in some cases there is a catch. It looks like Dell put custom firmware on their own-branded SSDs. So if you use a non-Dell SSD (even one from an approved 3rd party reseller), then the lack of that custom firmware will result in the drive showing up with a non-critical error. It works fine, but doesn't help with hardware reporting.

Oracle Database 18: Now in downloadable Linux flavour

Jay 2

If you're using ULN, then yes as ice ages move faster.

Softcat scores big in Scotland: Many a mickle makes a muckle

Jay 2

Interesting, as I've pretty much had the opposite experience. Maybe it's because our account manger is a perfectionist, but I've never had any big problems. As I've said before in comments somewhere they put the value add into VAR for us. Mind you, some of their competitors don't help themsleves with not being able to correctly read emails with server specs in them or taking days to provide a quote.

Giffgaff admits to billing faff, actually tells folk to turn it off and on again

Jay 2

Re: Oy

I'm on the same bundle. Rarely (never?) do I bust that and need to top up the slush fund. Overall there are cheaper deals to be had elsewhere, but I'm fairly happy with them.

Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters

Jay 2

Re: "Norwegians are not good at using condoms."

I'd say the answer would be quite if using them properly...

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties

Jay 2

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.

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.

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.

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!

‘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.

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.

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

Jay 2

Re: lucky hit


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).

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".

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!

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".

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.

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.

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)

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)?

‘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?

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

Jay 2

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.

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.

Heart Internet outage... three days and counting

Jay 2


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.

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...

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...

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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