* Posts by The Original Steve

574 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


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.

Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

The Original Steve

Why so hard?

Two things:

1. Rather than a VIN, maybe a number that could be generated via the ECU and presented in the dash / iDrive. Appreciate the Evil Valet can still do it, but it's harder than walking up to the car and reading the VIN from the dashboard (some cars even have the VIN on the windows!)

2. If there's a dedicated button that needs pressing to connect the car to the online services, why not just have it so that if you press and hold the same button for - I don't know, 10 seconds? - the car will disconnect from the service?

Doesn't prevent the issue if the new buyer isn't aware, but both would help and could be implemented via a software update.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

The Original Steve


See above

The Original Steve

Re: Daily Stand-Up

That’ll be the alcohol free cider, Shirley?

The Original Steve

“Vulture’s Teat”

See title

Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

The Original Steve

Capita are a "Collection of C..."

You can fill in the blank.

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

The Original Steve

Re: At least it's not BING

I've found the difference to be marginal personally. Image and video search I find is far superior on Bing, WHILST Google is slight better at Web / text searching.

Working in a team of geeks, I actually opt for Bing just because everyone else uses Google. A little difference isn't a bad thing.

Certainly Bing isn't terrible, to the point if you changes the styling and branding I doubt the majority would even notice.

Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

The Original Steve

Re: Surprised they have any customers left...

Move your energy supplier to OVO.

5% interest on all credit up to £1500. Can withdraw it online and takes about 3 - 5 days.

Can then move banks to whoever you want.

White box server makers flounder BUT big brands shine

The Original Steve

Intel and Supermicro

We're a mid sized MSP and switched to Intel and Supermicro last year. 20% cheaper than Dell or HPE for the same spec and warranty is too good for us to kiss out on. Good competitive edge / cheaper for our clients.

Storm in a teapot: Anger brews over npm's jokey proxy error messages

The Original Steve

Fuck off

And keep some humour please!

I rather like the 418 error code. Reminds me of a happier time before the marketing companies muscled into the Internet. Leave it be!

We've found it! A cloud-and-AI angle on the royal wedding

The Original Steve


See above / ------->

Prez Donald Trump to save manufacturing jobs … in China, at ZTE

The Original Steve

Re: ZTE and Huaweii backdoor all their chips

That's certainly NOT what the Exec Summary states.

The summary says that neither ZTE nor Huawei answered the committees answers adequately, which in their own words does not prove they are a risk / are doing anything wrong - but does not answer security related questions the US state has.

Report seems to suggest that they cannot be trusted, but that there is no proof - yet.

I'm a HPE ProCurve / Aruba man personally, however after needing a DCB supported 10G switch for a project and a budget of just £5k (one of my team failed to estimate the networking costs earlier in the project) I'm now buying my first Huawei kit. £6k for 2 x 10Gig SPF+ datacentre grade switches is a price worth paying compared to £13k for HPE. As the switches are not going to be internet facing I'm comfortable with that trade off.

'Computer algo' blamed for 450k UK women failing to receive breast screening invite

The Original Steve

Re: The real question is...

May I respectfully suggest that requesting Class A, controlled medications should be left to Doctors rather than patients, particularly if you fail to read the warnings or understand that Fent is an opiate that's used to knock out Great Elephants. It's clearly labelled at every junction how addictive it is, as all opiates are.

Sounds very odd to me that one of the most powerful and addictive controlled drugs were prescribed on request. I take oxycodone regularly and if I walked into any GP and asked for it, morphine or Fent I would be kicked out of the surgery. After the doctors finished laughing. If I'm not in handcuffs.

Amazon: For every dollar of op. profit going into Bezos' pockets, 73 cents came from AWS

The Original Steve

Azure vs AWS

For what it's worth, in my unscientific view it seems that developers opt for AWS (PaaS) whilst infrastructure geeks opt for Azure (IaaS and SaaS).

I'm the chief geek for a mid sized MSP (circa 90 clients).

MS have a "story" with hybrid (I hate myself for using that term), and can be so very easy to use for even a small thing like as a file share witness in a cluster (great if you have a single site), as well as a massive hook with Office 365 and licensing. Amazon have development nailed from what my dev department tells me. They tell me that Azure is about 85% feature comparable to AWS with them both being equally easy to use.

Literally heard nothing about Google Cloud or others outside of the odd SaaS service (Salesforce, one Oracle for a cloudy CRM etc).

Two horse race, and personally I think it shows the true value of healthy competition. We have at least two very, very good cloud providers to use that continuously try to keep up with each other. I'm no economist, but this looks and feels to me like a textbook example of free market capitalism at work.

All of that said, I still would rather have business critical infrastructure hosted in a date center we can access on tin that we own. I'm enormously proud that multiple HA Exchange and SfB environments I've designed and implemented over the past 3.5 years have 100% uptime which beats Office 365.

It's April 2018, and we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days

The Original Steve

Re: "we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days"

Have you used the insider preview of 1803? There's a boat load of additional controls added to let you turn off lots more of the slurp.

So as it goes, release on release, we can actually rudce the slurp - it's not increased.

But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant

Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory go TITSUP*

The Original Steve

Not always rosier

I work for a MSP and for a large client about 3 yeard ago I put in place a 4 node Exchange DAG with a pair of load balancers across 2 sites. Not a minute of downtime since it went live.

Hearing they were moving to O365 about 6 months ago saddened me after putting in place a system which I was extremely proud of. (Had a site failure and users didn't even know).

Whilst I'm sure this won't change their plans, hearing today from them that they had email issues for the users they've migrated did at least put a smile on my face briefly...!

Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

The Original Steve

Whilst I agree with everything written, I should say that after playing with the very latest W10 build, for the first time since W10 was released I'm genuinely impressed. Actually works and window dressing which was sorely overdue has made a positive impact.

Shame it's practically irrelevant

Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server

The Original Steve

Re: I can see why they are saying goodbye

A couple of years ago I was saying the same thing about SBS, however even without Microsoft pushing cloud, the majority of SME's going for O365 is through the roof. (I work for a mid sized MSP). So Windows Server Essentials or whatever it's called these days is actually pretty reasonable. Does pretty much everything MacOS server offers plus a load more. (GPO, WDS). Only thing missing is email/collaboration, and let's face it no small business needs the overhead of running their own mail server these days, not when Exchange Online is £3 a month a user or thereabouts.

Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

The Original Steve


What really annoys me is that if I pop in to buy an unlocked phone they demand address and other details that are not required by law. No details, no sale.

Which is fine, I took my business elsewhere.

Rather glad I did now...

Last week: Microsoft accused of covering up rape claim. This week: Microsoft backs anti-cover-up law ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Original Steve

It's a start

In fairness to Microsoft, well done. Shouldn't have taken what it has, but I congratulate them on putting their weight behind something that they still didn't have to do.

SCOLD WAR: Kaspersky drags Uncle Sam into court to battle AV ban

The Original Steve

Re: BestBuy

That's odd.

I switched our AV from Kaspersky to Webroot around May time, never had a single problem and it's detected a crap load more than K ever did.

That's on over 2990 endpoints with various hardware and software mixes. (I work for an MSP)

Google Chrome vows to carpet bomb meddling Windows antivirus tools

The Original Steve


I went off Chrome a couple of years ago. The core project I still love, but I'm really falling out of love with Google for all sorts of reasons (many listed by other commentards).

Doesn't this seem rather heavy handed? According to the article, this is all about making it less "likely" that 15% of the 2/3rd's of Chrome users on Windows may have a crash.

"Roughly two-thirds of Windows Chrome users have other applications on their machines that interact with Chrome..."

"..., users with software that injects code into Windows Chrome are 15 per cent more likely to experience crashes."

Seems a tad overkill to me.

Apple succeeds in failing wearables

The Original Steve

> it makes using the underground in London easier and safer (no getting wallet out in congested areas)


Because it's a very rare (and an exceptionally good) day when I have £300+ cash in my wallet which I then show off to all around me when I go through a turnstile.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018