* Posts by The Original Steve

596 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

The Original Steve


For all we know all physical servers had the same iLO / iDRAC password.

Skype goes blurry, Office gets a kick in the privacy, and Microsoft takes us back to 1990

The Original Steve

Re: If you want a nostalgic file manager ...

"You could never do that with Windows Explorer due to it being baked in with the file system..."

Open a command prompt, then type:

runas /user:Domain\Admin explorer.exe


New explorer window opens under the security context of the domain admin. Works on all supported Windows versions as far as I can recall.

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

The Original Steve

Re: "Sounds a bit like the Brexit campaign"

As a campaign, rather than being the executive or running to be the executive, I didn't think they were responsible for having a plan?

<Takes cover>

Uncle Sam to its friends around the world: You can buy technology the easy way, or the Huawei

The Original Steve

Re: Open Source


What do Huawei do about the patents they licence and include in their gear? Sadly it's not quite as simple as just making their code "open source", as a good chunk of it will be covered by other peoples patents and there will still be a little bit of Huawei's own technical effort and intellectual property included. Why should Huawei have to give away their privately paid for code?

Trolling in the Reg's forums... we mean, er, 'working' on the train still rubbish thanks to patchy data coverage

The Original Steve

Just changed jobs from working at a regional MSP to a consultant for a very large integrator. As such I hop from client location to client location and I charge for my time etc.

I love driving, and opt to take the car for work and claim millage. However my next client is about 5 hours away by train, 4 hours by car. I was rather surprised to see that if I'm travelling via train the time is billable to the client as I'm expected to be working - unlike in the car.

Which means I'll likely be taking the train to my next gig rather than my much loved car, not for any eco reason or cost, but purely because I don't need to make up the time travelling.

Of course if there's no signal for me to work, that's not my fault... ;)

Civil liberties groups take another swing at Brit snooping regime in Euro human rights court

The Original Steve

Re: Better get Skates on

Wrong court matey.

We're part of Europe regardless of this Brexit mess.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

The Original Steve

Was going to say the same. I work from home about 60% of the time, the rest I'm at a random location at random times off to client sites. I can't program in a reliable schedule, and my Tado (no frills, very good) has learnt that when I'm 100+ miles away, but I've been heading in the direction of home for 20 mins to start warming the house up.

My bills are genuinely lower than before, and my house is warmer when I'm going through the door.

BUT - I do know how to use it manually. It's also the only IoT device I own. (Inc any "Assistant" - none in my home thank you). One of the only IoT devices I would recommend or even consider in my home.

UK spy overseer: Snooper's Charter cockups are still getting innocents arrested

The Original Steve

Re: Is that all?

You can't be serious?! Really?!

Am I really "far out" in thinking that you are innocent until proven guilty. If you can't prove it in court, then it's heresay and thus shouldn't appear on anything.

Isn't that a core principle of our justice system? Or did I miss that memo?

While US fires criminal charges at Huawei, UK tells legislators not to worry, everything's fine

The Original Steve

"Anyway is UK sure what they see in their labs is what Huawei actually delivers to customers, and can't tampered with later?"

Checksums, IC designs, massive microscopes and spot check - one would assume.

Stop, collaborate, and listen: Microsoft Teams gets an Atlassian glisten

The Original Steve

Better the devil you know

For all the moaning of SfB, personally I love it compared to the Teams client.

Q. What connects the global financial crisis, Ursnif malware, and Coldplay's Viva la Vida?

The Original Steve

Is this a thing still?!

Can't remember the last time a version of Office allowed the execution of a macro in Word/Excel/PowerPoint etc without jumping through a number of prompts and hoops.

Doesn't appear to be exploiting a bug, just that people will run arbitrary code from an untrusted source. Classic.

Any modern / supported version of Office will stop this dead by default AFAIK.

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

The Original Steve

Why solar

It seems to my amateur and untrained eye that the radioactive powered probes and rovers seem to be considerably more robust than the solar powered kit we've been sending of late.

Of course the fission based power source will be more expensive, but how much does a failed project cost when the only reason for failure is that it can't get enough rays from the sun?

Maybe very wrong here but it seems that if we had some old school nuclear power involved then both Curiosity and Spirit would both be running now.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

The Original Steve

No app support = unarguably true

Horrible UI = subjective

Battery hog = Bollocks. At the time WM was, by far, superior in power management than iOS or Android

The Original Steve

Re: Clickbait

"...Everybody I know who uses a Microsoft phone hates it with true zeal."

I found it depended on the audience. People aged 40 or under, or those who saw that exec's had an iPhone instead all hated WM. More "mature" people (that don't run their lives via 'apps') or those who didn't have it put on them as a visible second best option seemed to like it.

I loved my 920 and 950XL, they were ahead of their time in many respects, and the value proposition was through the roof compared to iOS at the time. If it had the apps available I would still be flying the flag to be honest.

My mum loves her 950XL I gave her after I moved to a S8 in Dec 17 (and a Mate20 Pro which is epic from Dec 18). Annoying Lloyd's don't have their banking app anymore, but she's more than happy having the Web page linked on her "start screen" as a workaround.

Even my grandad is rocking a 640XL. He had a Galaxy A series that's about 4 years old and even in "Simple mode" just could not get the hang of it at all. (After countless hours of training, printed notes on how to do certain tasks).

Gave him a 640XL 2 years ago and after a 30 minute training session I've only had a single question (after his MS Password reset and he didn't know how to update the password on the phone).

Still maintain there could have been a profit in MS carrying on in the low / mid market as a dumb smartphone. Bit more spit and polish on the OS is all that was really needed, as long as the expectation of apps was managed.

Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

The Original Steve

"...abandonment of the whole project."

"...or even abandonment of the whole project."

Bit of an overreaction just because of copyright.

Well Farage did say as much... ;)

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

The Original Steve

The "Apprentice" phase

Going out on a limb here, but for say the first... 10 years of your career in IT isn't this a S.O.P?

Do something out of interest, break something, cancel it before anyone knows, grab a coffee and learn!

Pretty much how I learnt the basics of my craft during the late 90's and early 00's!

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

The Original Steve

Re: Comparison


Thanks you for the reply. I genuinely didn't consider how the mid-terms impacted that side of thing and now you've mentioned it then I'm inclined to agree.

The house has a refreshed mandate due to the mid-terms and as you rightly say, they oppose The Donald's wall. So yep, I stand corrected, and the Democrats blocking it seems entirely democratic (and sensible too of course!).

Thanks again - Steve

The Original Steve

Re: Comparison

Oh dear God no, please don't get me wrong - I'm in NO way at all endorsing or supporting the moron who sits in the Oval Office nor the ridiculous wall policy!

Forget the person, and forget the specific policy. All I'm trying to saying is that if the Executive in a democracy gets voted in after campaigning / about a certain policy, then is it not rather undemocratic for the House to block / prevent / refuse funding for the policy?

Let's say there's a general election June 2019. The Vulture Party have some insane policies and promises in their manifesto. One of the foundation / core / headline policies during campaigning was to build a wall between England and Scotland.

The election takes place, and The Vulture Party form a minority government propped up with the DUP.

Now, with The Vulture Party in power, they put their budget together and attempt to get it through Parliament. Now at this point, Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition vote against it and say they'll only vote for it if the PM removes the funding request for the mighty wall. (I know that my comparison falls apart here as in theory The Vulture Party should have a majority).

If party gets voted in based on a manifesto which has a policy about building a wall, then it doesn't seem very fair for the opposition party to block it. The executive has a strong mandate to implement the policy that came straight from the electorate.

But please, do not think for a moment that I support either Trump or his ridiculous policy!

The Original Steve


Not being super clued up with the way my American cousins implement their particular flavour of democracy, I wanted to float an interpretation to see if I "get it"...

Is this essentially the same to us Brits voting some nutter into power (some party that is close to the far left / far right), and then when the nutter Government tries to pass the budget which has us spending £20bn on a wall the MP's don't let the budget pass? However spunking £20bn on a wall was in the party manifesto in which they campaigned on.

Is that re-interpretation of it into a UK version anywhere near accurate?

Trump is clearly deranged, and the wall "policy" (can you even call it that?) isn't going to work and is a huge white elephant. The fact Government employees getting paid is being used as bargaining chip is disgraceful.

(Now for the downvotes...), Saying that, if my understanding is right then surely Congress should allow the money for his ridiculous wall to be released as it was a campaign promise. Clearly Trump doesn't care if it's needed, effective or required - but I don't think it's right for House to prevent the President from implementing a policy that was a big campaign promise.

Think I'm right in saying that in UK that this doesn't really happen as our Executive should (in theory) have a majority (we don't do this silly mid-term thing) so it should pass the MP's, and the Lords always pass budgets and legislation for issues that were in the ruling parties manifesto.

Of course the sensible thing would be for Trump to just drop the whole wall thing entirely, but I would argue he does have a mandate for it being that he was voted in promising this wall.

(Getting out the bleach and brillo pads as I walk to the shower - I feel disgusting in defending Trump! No, actually I'm not defending him - he's a bellend - but I am defending that the POTUS should be able to implement his campaign promises without Congress blocking funds.

Still feel disgusting though!)

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

The Original Steve

Re: Wow, it's almost...

Regardless of your views on Brexit, Scottish independence or us joining originally (well, just after we joined the EC), when a Government writes to your house to say they will hold a referendum and will implement the result I would expect them to do so.

The electorate was explicitly told this was a once in a generation vote, and that the outcome will be implemented.

By refusing to do so then every other referendum in the past and the future would be void, the exercise pointless and trust entirely lost from the electorate.

The Government maybe making a dogs dinner of it, it maybe a huge mistake and people may have been misled, but attempting to saying AFTER the vote that it doesn't matter because you disagree is nothing if not undemocratic. The time for that argument was prior to the vote I'm afraid.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

The Original Steve


Whilst I'm technically a millennial (early 80's) I do love giving the younger generation a good bashing.

However, I am for once with them on this. If I want a curry, I'll be getting it from a curry house either via the pub or via an app.

I can cook. I can do a decent curry from scratch. But living alone means cooking as we know it is a rare treat I'm afraid. Given society I fear this is a growing trend.

Great article, and bloody marvelous to see Lester's name back on El Reg!

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

The Original Steve

As a non-developer.... about undocumented / private API's...

Can someone explain to an Infrastructure guy what the rules are with these kind of things please?

As a layman (for API's and development), it appears at first glance that this is entirely appropriate and fine behaviour from Logitech. They've been notified about a security hole in their product, and apparently one way of removing the vuln is to remove an API. The API isn't public and isn't documented. So presumably Logitech made changes internally so that their software which uses the private API no longer depends on it, and kills of the API.

Now a load of people are screaming because their "hacks" (applications, scripts etc.) which uses a private, undocumented API no longer works.

If the above statement are correct, then from an outsiders POV I don't see what Logitech have done that's so terribly wrong...

Is there some unwritten developer rule or code [of conduct] (pun half-intended) where API's don't get discontinued - even if they are private and undocumented - without a lot of notice to prevent these kinds of problems?

Thanks in advance

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

The Original Steve

More common than you think

Worked in a crisp factory years ago as their Infrastructure guy.

The lab wanted a new microscope for QA which has an ethernet port and some "server" software to run on the client PC.

One unique requirement was that QA wanted the output text files - which were stored locally by default - to be sucked up by the ERP system.

Salesman assure the buyer that we can just SMB into it and pickup the file. He hinted that it was just Windows underneath too.

So I had a look about how to secure the SMB share or to see if I could have a script on it which uploaded the output file to our ERP inbound file share, and peeked under the hood.

It was running Windows 95, had no security at all and amazingly also had a telnet server running on it without any authentication at all.

This was in 2012, and the microscope cost many tens of thousands of pounds.

When QA said they were thinking of buying more of them I tried to raise objections, which obviously fell on deaf ears.

In the end I put them on their own VLAN and firewalled them off. Best I could do without "invalidating the warranty".

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

The Original Steve

Re: Not surprised

Same here - brought the Mate20 Pro at the weekend and my word it's impressive. Other than the hefty price tag it's hands down the best phone I've ever used. Now I've ditched the stock launcher (using Microsoft Launcher - it's actually really rather good) the rest of their flavour of Android seems more than acceptable to me.

If the PC's are the same quality, I'm very much interested.

Roll up, roll up, HPE's composable infra charabanc is coming

The Original Steve


Thought they meant it rotted after a few months...

China doesn't need to nick western tech when Google is giving it away

The Original Steve

"I doubt many in the West would happily use a Chinese phone in 2018."

I disagree.

After your review singing it's praises (other than price) I brought myself a Huawei Mate20 Pro on Saturday. My S8, whilst having lovely hardware, has been terrible on the software front (lag, freezes etc.). Due to shitty insurance (give to us for 3 weeks and we'll consider sending you a refurb) the screen cracks on the S8 were too much to take, so needed a decent phone "now", and the latest Huawei ticks every box other than SD card slot (NM instead) and 3.5mm socket.

And to be honest, now I've changed the launcher to Microsoft Launcher (I know, but it's really rather good) I can truthfully say that in fact I now prefer the Huawei UI to Samsung.

Early days, but my first look at a Chinese handset is a very positive one.

LastPass? More like lost pass. Or where the fsck has it gone pass. Five-hour outage drives netizens bonkers

The Original Steve

Re: Keepass

Store you Keepass DB on a cloud file storage solution which has offline cache then. Simples.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

The Original Steve

Re: Simplification

Thanks Andrew.

I have the LED cover on my S8 and love it. Although this is the second one I brought after the first just packed in working after 3 months (not uncommon so I've been told).

Will have a look at the Note 8. I forgot to mention that supporting Project Treble would be a big bonus too, just so I can ensure I don't get left behind should the hardware somehow last me more than a year or two!

Thanks again

The Original Steve


I admit it, after 20 years in IT I'm now stumped. Maybe I just can't be arsed to spend hours researching any longer, but I've just entirely lost track with phones.

I love my S8 hardware, but the software is rather flaky, requiring a reboot once a week. But I can't stand Apple so soldiering on with Android is the best I can do.

More than happy to go with a Chinese brand like Huawei etc. I just need the ranges explained to me!

A 5" - 6" screen, QI charging, reasonable camera, waterproof, SD Card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C fast charging, battery that can last a day and a decent screen. Fingerprint unlock under the glass is a nice to have, but can live with a normal fingerprint reader if necessary. Not a fan of the notch.

Budget is around £700 max, would prefer the £400 - £500 "mid range" if possible. (My last car cost me under a grand which lasted 9 months with no other maintenance costs. If you think I'm paying £1000 for a phone you can think again!)

Any suggestions from my peers?

GitHub lost a network link for 43 seconds, went TITSUP for a day

The Original Steve

Re: Weird timing

I'd wager that Active Directory is one of the top multi-node database systems in use across the globe, and whilst I've seen issues in my two decades of experience it's been so incredibly rare compared to this type of SQL split brain I wouldn't count Microsoft out as being able to produce a DB which is top tier in terms of it's resilience during a disaster.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

The Original Steve

Possibly the best article I've read on El Reg

See title

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes

The Original Steve

Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

"Arch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended his financial company starting new operations in Ireland because of Brexit."

The operation in question being a fund. Not an office, not employing staff, just an investment fund. I believe SCM also have similar funds in other EU countries as well as Asia and the US - like all large investment companies tend to do. JRM has said that the decision was taken before we even had a referendum, and is not because of Brexit.

Source: Live phone in on LBC's breakfast show


F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

The Original Steve

Re: With that amount of censorship internally, just imagine how Google Search will end up.


You're clearly willing to put up with uncensored (e.g. profanity) in textual form by reading this mighty website. The fact you are reading the comments even more demonstrates that you may not be as precious as you first make out.

Because you don't like hearing certain words doesn't mean people stop having the right to say them around you. Actually berating you with swearing is one thing, overhearing someone muttering a phrase you dislike is something else - and it does not justify infringing on their freedom to express.

Equally you are more than entitled to tell the co-worker to pipe down and tell them how much you disapprove, but actively censoring is fucking stupid.

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

The Original Steve

As it was under his leadership (and continuing since, sadly) that I found myself unable to follow my heart and historical trend of voting for the Lib Dems, quite frankly I'm rather glad he's pissing off from the UK entirely.

And the values the Lib Dem's supposedly hold, yet he's working for FB.... says everything you need to know about modern politics (or just politics?), regardless of colour.

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

The Original Steve

Re: The Distaff Sound

Um... Perhaps they should consider using "pockets" for things like your phone. See nearest man for reference.

At least that way not only can this segment of the population be alerted without noise to an incoming call, but they might be able to actually answer it before the caller hangs up!

And think of the time saved in not having to pull out what can only be described as a physics defying amount of "life's necessities" (or shit, depending on your POV) from said bag.

Just a thought. :p

Your pal in IT quits. Her last words: 'Converged infrastructure...' What does it all mean? We think we can explain

The Original Steve

Re: Roll your own

The cost of these HCI "appliances" from Dell, HPE, Cisco and Nutanix are eye watering.

Plus complexities of a new interface and managment stack coupled with vendor lock in make it seem to me like a terrible idea.

X86 tin with a common as muck OS that has virtual SAN, SDN and VMs sounds like a much cheaper proposition to me. Not sure why ElReg keep banging on about HCI being appliance based. VMWare, Microsoft and the OSS community all have their own HCI take built into the tools we all know. Coupled with cheap and entirely compatible X86 tin and it's a no brainer to me.

The Original Steve

Roll your own

When you said roll your own, I was hopeful of an article on how Windows Server 2016/2019 Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-V on Supermicro tin (or Dell/HPE if you have 20% unused budget that needs spending) is a very compelling offering.

Made our own Nutanix style offering for our clients which scales well and is about 1/3 the cost of traditional HCI boxes from the big vendors.

I'm sure Linux has an equally good offering too.

As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in

The Original Steve

Re: Who would want such a thing?

Forget what you know about Windows 10 on the PC, I standby my view that Windows Phone / Mobile actually is really rather good for all by Millennials / those who want lots of 3rd party apps.

Not being one for Snapchat, Twitter, Starbuck, Uber and all that crap, I was more than happy with my £300 flagship 950XL so long as it had Outlook, Skype for Business and Barclays Mobile Banking.

Interface was clean, and it sipped the battery wonderfully. Camera is to this day one of the best you can find.

My mum now has it and I'll end up moving her onto this when her hardware packs in. (She loves the clean and easy to use interface too)

HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

The Original Steve


I left my permie role in August and didn't have something to go straight into, so seriously considered contracting and freelance.

After a lot of digging and research as well as getting offered a few public sector (NHS mainly) contracts I ruled it out PURELY due to the tax and IR35 ballache.


Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

The Original Steve

Re: Don't diss skype until you've tried skype for business

This was a new feature in SfB 2015. If you have Exchange integration too (pre-req sadly) then get your admin to run:

Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableServerConversationHistory $true

On your particular client policy. Seems to be solid across desktop and iOS, less so fluid on Android sadly.

Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton talks to The Reg about Pi PoE woes

The Original Steve

Viva ElReg and The Pi Foundation

Great article - this kind of thing is what keeps me coming to El Reg daily (as well as the long geeky reads and of course the commentards!)

Qualcomm's tardy chip upgrade leaves the Great Wearables Reveal to jokers and clowns

The Original Steve

Pronounced Weiner?

See title

Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown

The Original Steve


I would hope that this omnishambles is a wake up call for other companies who see IT as a cost centre and those who do everything to shave every penny off the department including outsourcing.

See title.

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

The Original Steve

Re: "Now all Intel can do is watch from the sidelines"

The ink wouldn't be dry on the proposal before anti competition regulators would throw it out.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

The Original Steve

Re: This needs some input from the DVLR

"I find the DVLA driver license verification tool* effective and modern..."

Only if you know your "Government Gateway" ID and passwords. My brother tried to change the address on his driving licence last week

He gave up after countless attempts so came to his sibling with two decade of professional IT experience to do it for him. Involved a reset of his password, then we didn't know the randomly generated username which the government send him via the post 5 years ago, so had to then "re-register" countless times, before giving up and creating a new ID from scratch.

Took us over an hour.

Cisco shift to recurring revenue gives 3.8 billion signs that it's working

The Original Steve

Re: I don't know about anyone else...

Mind asking what you switched too?

I've never really used much Cisco, been a HP/Aruba/Juniper guy myself. Did work at an ISP once and whilst they did have a few Juniper boxen around the majority was all Cisco still.

Cisco, the IBM of the network world.

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

The Original Steve


I have my doubts how accurate or useful this "study" actually is...

Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

The Original Steve

Close. You accidentally pressed A rather than U.

Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears

The Original Steve


I wonder if Epic could create a free app on Play, which only creates a shortcut to a page on their website with instructions and the link to the .apk?

Not perfect but may help reduce the risk whilst still giving Google the middle finger.

Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

The Original Steve

Re: So much hostility

That'll be the rape accusations that he was interviewed about in Sweden at the time, case was closed and they said he could leave the country. Then once in the UK it got reopened, he said he was happy to be interviewed by the Swedish police in the UK, and which the authorities dropped the investigation on back in May 2017.

He's a prize bell-end, and he shouldn't have skipped bail, but the now dropped rape charges sound like bollock.


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