* Posts by sandman

585 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

sandman

Faulty user

Being cursed with the unofficial IT support role in one organisation, I had a colleague who used to go literally berserk with both her PC and printer. Her problem was deadlines. She'd leave printing large academic papers until, ooh, about 5 minutes to 5 and the postman would come and pick up at 5. So, several times a week there'd be a scream of "The fucking printer won't print!". This was quite often accompanied by impactful sound effects.

Muggins here would wander into her office and say "How many times did you press print?"

"Only fucking once!!!" would be shouted back. Of course, when you viewed the print spool, there'd be 20 jobs in the queue...

She once threw her mouse so hard at the monitor that we never did find its ball in the pig pen that was her office.

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

sandman

Re: "Israel should stop murdering Palestinians"

Ah, so like Brexiteers and Remainers but with a longer history and more death?

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As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

sandman

Re: Seems obvious ...

Yep, the first thing I do is buy a case to protect the shiny - one that protects the screen too (Usually before the phone arrives). My phones tend to last until something dies or becomes unsupported...

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Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

sandman

Thanks Simon, it's been fun - hope the new job is great :-)

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Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

sandman

Why does Beaverton sound more like the sort of hotel Trump might stay in?

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United States, you have 2 months to sort Privacy Shield ... or data deal is for the bin – Eurocrats

sandman

whoo hoo!

Oh, deep joy, no sooner than I pump out our corporate data legislation training I'll probably have to do it again and in a few months time, probably again. Oh and a few months after that...

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

sandman

Exit the Cleaner

I was working for an organisation that was having a new building designed. Unfortunately the architect was an egocentric &%^$ who designed a building that was totally at odds with our requirements. To demonstrate that the building was unfit for purpose I had to build and render a 3D model of it. In those far off days it could take 12 hours to render and plot an A2 drawing. This drawing had to be completed by 11am the following day, so our CEO could take it to London and show it to our very, VIP President. When I finally left work that night the rendering had completed and the plotting had begun...

You guessed, the cleaner came in and turned off the PC and the plotter at the mains, despite the fact that the plug switch was taped open with yellow and black tape with a large warning sign above saying DO NOT SWITCH OFF!!! End result was obviously initial panic, followed by a painful replotting process and a motorbike courier racing up the A3 just in time to get the drawing to the meeting before it concluded. We never did see the cleaner again.

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Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

sandman

Total Luddite

That's me on the domestic IOT idea. Sorry, can't see the use case for most of the toys (although some may be of assistance to people with a variety of disabilities). "Turn on the lights, well known brand of speaky thing". Get up and do it yourself you lazy git. Fridge "I'm running out of hummus, I'll order some more". Yes, I can see that and I don't want any hummus this week. "Goolexapod, order a 24" deep pan pizza". Cook something yourself you idle toe-rag. IOT - just another way to get obese and have your data harvested. OK, rant over, back to helping the commercial world put all its eggs in the net basket. ;-)

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Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

sandman

Re: Psycho creeps will always be with us.

Giving my age away here, I thought DM meant Dungeon Master (from a game for anyone who thinks it might relate to a predilection for whips, chains, etc) and it took me a second to realise that you meant a disreputable publication.

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BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

sandman

Re: "I prefer not to answer that but suggest you wear gloves to work."

I had a great boss a while back who said to us: "You all know what you're doing, it's my job to shield you from the political crap." He did - resulting in a happy, productive department while he basked in our success and gained (as we did to a lesser extent, obviously) much in the way of bonuses.

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WannaCry is back! (Psych. It's just phisher folk doing what they do)

sandman

I've had two of them so far. I think they may be from the same person/group who have been sending the "I've hacked your computer's camera and recorded you watching porn, blah, blah, blah." Same Bitcoin demands, etc. I always find them rather amusing.

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

sandman

Keyboard ecosystems

I worked for an organisation where I had to provide unofficial IT support. One of the secretaries (it was some time ago) complained that her much loved keyboard wasn't working properly anymore...

Me: "How long have you been using it?"

She: "About 5 years."

Me: "Have you ever cleaned it?"

She: "No, I didn't know you could."

It wasn't just a matter of turning it upside down and banging it on the desk (although that was mildly horrifying). All the keys had to be taken off to get at the thick padding of dead hair, skin and food debris that was stopping them depressing far enough to work. It was alive I tell you, alive!

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

sandman

Yes.

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Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

sandman
Devil

The future's bright...

"On Huawei's latest cameras, AI turns grass fluorescent and the Palace of Westminster orange." I thought the DUP had already changed the Palace of Westminster orange.

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

sandman

Re: Indeed on the pork ...

When I was taking a metal-working course at a local Tech College back in the mid-70s, wearing a tie was compulsory. Of course, you were wearing it under a boiler suit, but one guy nearly did a face-plant into a lathe doing 1500rpm when his tie got free. Moronic policy.

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The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

sandman

Re: I've got 3 Rolexes!

Been shopping in Thailand, eh?

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Trio indicted after police SWAT prank call leads to cops killing bloke

sandman

Um, because it's a huge and fascinating country where the vast majority of people are openly friendly and generous. Yes it's got some horrible problems (racism and misuse of firearms among them) but that's far from the whole story.*

* Disclaimer: I am not an American citizen, but have worked and holidayed there.

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

sandman

Genuine Senior Management Quote

"Our software is so user-friendly that training won't be necessary". That went well. (It actually took about 5 days classroom training to become moderately incompetent with it and a lot of practice and experience to do anything remotely useful).

25
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No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

sandman

Re: Alternatives

Hmm, I always found the the availability of soft drugs led to an increase in alcohol consumption (or was it the other way round, it's hard to remember) ;-)

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sandman

Side-effects

Ah, the explanation for Britain's falling birth-rate at last!

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Royal Bank of Scotland decision to axe 160+ branches linked to botched IT gig – Unite

sandman

Re: "not that I'm a member of NatWest or RBS now"

I always vote for the top guy with the biggest cocaine and prostitute habit (with the CoOp that is - God knows what my local Councillors get up to).

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Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

sandman

Crazed author

I once had to set up a global conference for a major book launch. (This was in the days when Centra was in wide use). OK, the day comes, everything is set up and tested and I'm waiting... next I get a furious phone call, giving me a total bollocking because nobody can log on. I'm totally mystified, so take the lift up to the executive level. Here I find the author has decided that since there is a consumer version of the software, they won't bother with the already set up corporate instance. Not only haven't they got a clue how to use it, I actually get blamed for their failure. At this stage I threatened to defenestrate the nasty little man (well, we were on the 9th floor). There never was an apology...

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UK gov grilled over massive exposure to struggling outsourcer Capita

sandman

Re: Core competence: getting contracts

You missed out an obvious advantage though - any failure can be blamed on the outsourced provider, not the government department. You'll see the same policy with regard to local councils. Central government hives off responsibility for something like social care to local authorities and makes it a legal obligation, but then cuts their grants. This results in other services being cut, but it's the fault of someone else, not the government.

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UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed

sandman

Re: Typical

Sounds about right. I've seen customer software training put under HR - because "It's all just training, isn't it?" Try getting travel budgets to major customers in funny foreign from an HR dept.

2
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IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again

sandman

Flashbacks - not nostalgia

One of those products that creates hideous flashbacks, particularly if you had to train people on it. Please, just let it die quietly. (Or drag it screaming down to hell, I'm not fussy).

6
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Your mouse can't reach that Excel cell? Buy a 'desk extender' said help desk bluffer

sandman

Re: Managers?

In one very large company I worked at I had to scan the CEO and CFO's signatures - good job I'm honest! ;-)

6
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‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

sandman

Re: Just finger trouble

I had one of those at work. I blame my potty-mouth on the experience.

3
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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

sandman

Re: Software testing?

Don't tramp city streets in Vibram-soled walking boots - they're really made for tracks/mud/rock/grass, etc. I had the same problem with my walking boots - they're due to be sent off for their second re-soling. :-(

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User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

sandman

Re: If somebody does not understand...

Oh God yes, I've been training/supporting people for more years than I care to remember and some of them seem to be utterly incapable of learning - well, anything new. At one company, I used to hold the chief executives hand and move and click the mouse for them when they were video-conferencing. Because they only did it once a month, they would forget how between sessions (no, the printed (large font and pictures) user guide on the desk next to them didn't help). Possibly they just liked me holding their hand of course. ;-)

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UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

sandman

Re: Missing the point

I'd love to see a new government taking a look around and saying. "Well, everything seems to be more or less OK, let's just kick back and relax unless something unpredictable happens".

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When neural nets do carols: 'Santa baby bore sweet Jesus Christ. Fa la la la la la, la la la la'

sandman

Yes :-)

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Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports

sandman

I sincerely hope this was deliberate.

"because almost nobody in China wants anything under 5.5 inches." Fnar, fnar... ;-)

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User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

sandman

Re: PBKAC

Of course, users can always try this well-known fix: http://newsthump.com/2013/01/28/major-technological-breakthrough-as-man-fixes-computer-by-shouting-at-it/

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sandman

Re: PBKAC

Ah yes, the monitor problem. In the distant past I've had users explode with rage when I've asked them if they'd turned the computer on. Then asked them if they'd turned the monitor (the large TV thing) on - more "Do you think I'm stupid?" The final question, "Is it plugged in and turned on at the mains?" usually resulted in a sheepish silence.

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

sandman

No reverse

Had a great deal of fun many years ago with an Astra diesel hire car. Pick up car, drive home, try to park. How the hell do you get it into reverse??? Neither of us had ever seen "the lift the little collar" on the gearstick method before. No manual in the car, no mobile phone, no clue. Had to drive to a petrol station and ask if anyone had a clue - fortunately someone had.

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What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

sandman

The Fads of Doom

I've had the dubious pleasure of watching senior management adoption of fads damage or destroy their companies. My favourite was "Shockwave is the future of the internet, we are going to create all our training materials using it!" (For youngsters, think Adobe Flash, but bigger and capable of doing more stuff). The few of us with experience went "NO! That way lies madness!" So it proved, instead of an estimated take-up of 3000, only 3, repeat 3, users got on to it (I'm not sure how, even the contact details and help were embedded in it). Not long after, the long-established company died.

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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

sandman

Dungeness

Lovely post-apocalyptic landscape. The nuclear power plant and the power lines just add the final touch.

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

sandman

Re: Hmm.

Ah, I see you're trying to start a war. ;-)

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Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars

sandman

Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

That's called being platform agnostic! So, almost an atheist, burn him!

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US Homeland Security CIO hits ctrl-alt-delete after just three months

sandman

CV/Resume

One great advantage with such short-term appointments is that you can explain the gap on your CV by saying you were on vacation. If anyone asks why your hiring/firing were all over the press, you just sneer and say "mainstream media lies, fake news, sad."

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

sandman

Re: Another microwave story

When those new-fangled Walkman thingies came out I was working in Portsmouth Dockyard. If I was wearing the earphones I'd get a repeated "ziiiiip" going through my head when I turned a certain corner - you could predict the interval by watching the radar turning. There was also an apocryphal story about a fitter falling asleep in HMS Victorious's huge bin-shaped radar (long before I worked there - just saying) - and then it was turned on.....

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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

sandman

Re: So....restore from backup

That's because we ran out of Cathars some time ago ;-)

6
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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

sandman

How to blow up a rat

I worked for one organisation that needed a lot of electricity. Everything was controlled from a shipping container outside the building and walking past one day I noticed smoke coming out of the top of the doors. This is generally considered a bad thing.

Cautiously cracking open the door revealed nothing but thin smoke and an appalling smell. Getting behind the control panels revealed small fragments of singed rat everywhere and a tiny paw print on one of the 440 volt bus-bars...

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Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth

sandman

Dinner table conversation

"What did you do at work today darling?"

"Oh, not much, just broke the legs of 30 mice."

"That's nice darl...wait, WTF!"

9
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Fancy that – the sharing economy lobby doesn't speak for the sharers

sandman

Re: " Until the "digital era" we've treated humans differently"

"It looks the current idea is to return there...." To be fair, I think we're already there. How many people own what share of the world's total wealth? It's lords and peasants (or serfs, churls, helots, choose your comparison) time again children.

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Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

sandman

I'm agog with indifference...

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Microsoft ups Surface slab prices for Brits. Darn weak pound, eh?

sandman

Re: Just say 'sod off MS I ain't paying that much'

Apple already put up their prices - MS are just the latest in a long line. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37799235

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/17/apples-uk-app-store-prices-will-rise-25-percent-following-brexit-currency-fluctuations.html

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All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

sandman

Re: When are we goint to stop pretending...

Sorry. I'm going to have to disagree with your use of the word "led". We have some world-class officers and men, expensively trained and very experienced in many cases. It's the political and bureaucratic end (let's not call it leadership) that is sorely lacking.

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Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court

sandman

Re: Nah!

That should be "bleeding heart", personally mine doesn't have vocal chords, so "bleating" would be tricky.

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sandman

It's all a media conspiracy!

Damn, should have put that all in CAPS! I'd like to thank the Illuminati who obviously control the media for secretly supporting Trump. Look at CNN's ratings, the massive spike in New York Times sales, etc, since he was elected. You might think his tweets criticizing them are sincere - not so, he's being played like the sock puppet he is.

It's also given the rest of the world a chance to both laugh at and feel superior to the United States - not something that happens very often. The rest of the world's media are raking it in. there's never been a better time to be a satirist or cartoonist, petition sites are booming and every second social media post includes the word Trump.

I rest my case your Honour (ps, please don't send it to appeal).

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