* Posts by David Austin

381 posts • joined 11 May 2007


New claim dogs Oracle: After $11m of sales, I was unfairly axed before next big deal – because I am a 64yo woman

David Austin

If this is how Oracle treats their employees

I'd dread to think how they treat their customers.

Hoping I never have to find out first hand...

'This collaboration is absolutely critical going forward'... One positive thing about Meltdown CPU hole? At least it put aside tech rivalries...

David Austin

why people don't patch

I have two columns in front of me.

One of them is the time and costs spent across all my customers cleaning up viruses and malware caused by unpatched systems.

One of them is the time and costs spent across all my customers cleaning cleaning up messes caused by broken and misbehaving patches.

Guess which one is bigger.

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

David Austin

Re: Backups?

Amen to prying LTO out of my cold dead hands. Yes they are pricey at the SMB level, and getting Backup Exec to play nice is always a fun game, but the cartridges are cheep enough to keep full backups permanently every week/month for both DR and Compliance.

That, and I've never had trouble getting a customer that has previously lost data to budget for one to do them properly.

At that scale, Robotic tape libraries may become an out of hand cost but geeze, some kind of offline backup people! Imagine if they'd Cryptolocker'd their on network - did this scenario never occur to them?

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'

David Austin

Re: As we get older...

As a kid going through this right now; Please, please do this. Even just something in the Home office Safe with "Here's all the accounts i have" would be a big help

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

David Austin

I'm not a web developer, but with my end user and IT Support hats on, Edge always seemed like a nice rendering engine wrapped inside a half baked User Interface.

The incomplete status it launched in on the first few versions of Windows 10 (Probably up to around Anniversary Update) burnt users badly, and it got the reputation of not being very good that it just couldn't shake - about 30% of issues we saw with the RTM Windows 10 release were fixed by setting the default browser back to Internet Explorer or Chrome.

I think this may be the little talked about downside of releasing early and often to the general populace.

Sysadmin running a Mac fleet? IBM has just thrown you a lifeline

David Austin

3551 devices per administrator

That's an interesting number to have: I'd love to see how that compares to the *nix and Windows "Devices per administrator", both at IBM, and across different companies and sectors.

Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

David Austin

I Will Fucking Murder Mail

The moment it's back is turned: Fed up of Microsoft's helpful default app updates knocking Outlook out as it's not the Windows 10 Recommended app.

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

David Austin

Done with Firefox

Over the last year, I've fallen out of love with Firefox: Ever since they launched Quantum with an incomplete API set so a whole subset of simple extensions (coincidentally, all the ones I use) just can't be made.

It's been one year since the code switch, and toolbars are still on the "TBD" List

Then they pulled that little Mr. Robot stunt.

Then they scooped up testers DNS Results

Then they caved to Symantec on the certificate removal

All the while removing every USP (Customisation, Add-Ons, Privacy) their browser has, and turning it into a Knock-off version of Chrome.

At this point, a mix of Chrome and Edge provide a much more stable, pleasant web experience; After 14 years of use, time to say a not so fond farewell to Firefox.

Mozilla grants distrusted Symantec certs a stay of execution, claims many sites yet to make switch

David Austin


I was expecting the browser makers to play hardball: Users can still click through to get to the sites, and the "Not Secure" message being shown to everyone is a nice public incentive to fix it.

Still, as Google's the no. 1 web browser by a large margin, They'll still have to fix it, so Firefox's stance, if done in isolation, is a moot point.

Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award

David Austin

Re: Hard to know what to think here...

Somewhere, right now, an old SCO salesman just got a little warm glow in whatever passes for their heart.

Windows Server 2019 Essentials incoming – but cheapo product's days are numbered

David Austin

Re: Print server?

Aww man - you've got me all nostalgic for Windows NT's Print Manager

Apple's dark-horse macOS Mojave is out (and it's already pwned)

David Austin

Re: Lame name :(

I had the exact same problem;

I used to do tech for a legal firm where all the computers were named after cats (Lion, Jaguar, etc.) It was fine when they were in a single office, but by the time I left, there were in three buildings, and putting a new system on the network normally involved a frantic trawl through Wikipedia (Caracal, Toyger...) or IMDB (TopCat, SnagglePuss...).

That was before going to the user, and making sure the name didn't upset them (The new HR Hire was *Not* happy getting Bigglesworth...)

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

David Austin

Hoping SE2 Comes later...

Probably just put on the site without an event or much fanfare; I like the 4 inch form factor, although I recognise I'm in the minority with that one (along with a desire for an iPad mini 5; In my mind, Bigger is not always better)

However, not having an air quote "Budget" iPhone seems a bit remiss; £449 for a starting price (As opposed to an almost-reasonable £359 for the SE) is basically cutting price conscious customers off from jumping into the Apple ecosystem, and tempt them to upgrade later.

Still, I don't run a trillion doller company, so I'm sure Apple have a solid gameplan. I just don't fully get it, right now...

Vodafone cops ads rap over Martin Freeman's vanishing spaceship

David Austin

I understand why they did it

I wouldn't like to be responsible for promising X megabits/second will make it through a SuperHub 3 unscathed, either...

UK-based Veritas appliance support is being killed off

David Austin

Backup Exec exit routes

Anyone got recommendations for a good product to manage getting data onto a local tape drive for if/when this goes South? Hoping it's a contingency plan, as not even Symantec's best effort managed to kill it off

Every time I've looked around, not found a suitable replacement for BE.

Microsoft takes another whack at killing off Windows Phone 8.x

David Austin

Why would you buy a phone from Microsoft ever again?

I've actually lost count of the number of mobile phone platforms they've ungracefully killed with no upgrade path.

Do they honestly expect us to buy the ever-rumoured Surface Phones at this point, when evidence points to them getting bored and killing the platform 18 months later? You've had your (several) shots at the phone market; just give up and move on.

Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

David Austin

"A scumbag whose name isn’t worth remembering"

I'm glad to see The Register supporting the Some Asshole Initiative.


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

David Austin

London Riots

Back in the 2011 London Riots, I had the fun of doing an overnight server upgrade on a little business on a North London high street.

I managed to get in for the early evening before things kicked off, then put the metal shutters down, turned the lights out, hid in the back office with a brand new 2012 Foundation Server. One of the most tense nights of working I've had, and not just because I had to make a Symantec product behave...

Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1

David Austin

*Looks up from Discord*

That's nice honey...

*Goes back to enjoying talking to people*

Amazon scam trio primed for prison stretch after million-dollar fraud

David Austin

I know all the bad things Amazon do (Especially to suppliers and the poor warehouse workers), but they tilt the deck so far in the customer's favour, and really work with you to make sure you're happy: I've yet to have an Amazon issue that was not resolved to my satisfaction.

Most recent one was a £50 battery pack I bought that manufacturer said could do X, but could only half do X: Amazon initially arranged a free return for refund, but Post office wouldn't accept it as a "Defective" Lithium battery. Amazon said keep it and refunded it anyway.

I've (Half-jokingly) said it many times before: Amazon are evil, but they're convenient evil.

New Windows Servers are like buses: None for ages, then two at once!

David Austin

Re: In-place upgrade?

Speaking about extinct SKU's, can we get some love for Foundation Server? (Almost) everything Standard server could do, none of the extra stuff that can cause problems in Essentials/SBS, pre-licensed for 15 users, and in place upgradable to Standard once you reach that point.

It was the perfect "My First Server" for SMB Customers.

The world is becoming a computer, says CEO of worldwide computer company Microsoft

David Austin

Deep Thought

This is nothing new; Douglas Adams told us the earth is a computer back in the 70's.

Bill Gates declined offer to serve as Donald Trump's science advisor

David Austin

In this case, “not a good use of my time” may be a euphemism, but I honestly believe it to be true;

Like it or loath it, Bill's work at Microsoft changed the world.

I genuinely believe his work at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is even more important, and will have even more impact in the long term (And eradicating polio is probably going to be more popular than Windows Me).

Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week

David Austin

Fallen out of Love with FireFox

Been using it as my main browser Since 2003 when Blaster struck (Back on my Win98/XP Dual Booter), and until last year, I loved it.

Their push to kill XUL extensions before the WebExtentions API's were finished meant the six plugins I used to make the web work the way I wanted all stopped; spent the last two months trying to replicate the functionality with modern extensions, but it's just not possible (Protip; Not having a frikkin' toolbar API tells you everything you need to know about their attitude to portability, flexibility, and legacy)

So: If it looks like Chrome, serves ads like Chrome, and has less extensions than Chrome... why not just use Chrome?

Or even better, Palemoon or Waterfox, which is the decision I'm currently trying to make.

Oh dear... Netizens think 'private' browsing really means totally private

David Austin

Naming Confusion?

Another version of the "Tesla Autopilot" issue?

Google accidentally reveals new swipe-happy Android UI

David Austin


A user interface is like a joke - If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.

Swipes trade off usability for discoverability: If there's no on-screen clues, then the less technical users will be stuck high and dry. Not impossible to do, but it takes a level of UI Designer not seen that often nowerdays...

HP is turning off 'Always On' data deals but won't say why

David Austin

Re: Won't ever buy anything HP again

A very rare "In defence of HP" post from me, here;

if it was about 10 years ago, that would have been in the Intel Centrino era; a stipulation Intel put on to get Centrino certified and that lovely logo on the box meant the laptop had to not boot if it had a non Intel Wireless card (Or Chipset or processor, but obviously less of an issue)

This wasn't a HP thing, it was across the board with Intel Centrino. A bit of a dick move on Intel's part, but partly in their defence, the Intel Centrino logo was a mark of quality; it was the first wireless systems you could buy that "Just Worked" without any of the normal compatibility headaches; this was intel protecting the platform integrity, and you got caught in the crossfire of it.

David Austin

Re: Three Data sims

I think you missed the point Lee; I don't use data regularly; just in bursts. I don't want to pay that every month - One payment of £40 sets me up for the year.

Most of the Sim deals expire after a month or two, so 12 Months *or* 12GB is perfect.

David Austin

Three Data sims

I need busts of data when onsite during outages and on the road, so I was after a big chunk of data that didn't expire.

The last few years, the Three Data only SIMS have been the best deal I can find;

12 GB Data or 12 Months, whichever comes first, for £40, and often discounted lower.

As a bonus, three give you free roaming in a load of other countries, including most of Europe and United states - was handy for my last holiday.

Only downside is there's no way to top them up (They go to rolling monthly), so every year I just eject the old sim, and slap a new one in.

Copper feel, fibre it ain't: Ads regulator could face court for playing hard and fast with definitions

David Austin

Bah, ASA.

If they don't know what the word "Unlimited" means, it's frustrating but not surprising they don't understand the nuance between FTTC and FTTP.

US cable giant tries to wriggle out of 'crap ISP' legal battle now that net neutrality is dead

David Austin

Re: Recruited Sam Knows or Games Sam Knows

Were Sam Knows complicate or unknowingly duped?

Really hoping the latter. Have a lot of trust and respect for those guys...

You had one job, Outlook! Security bug fix stops mail app from forwarding attachments

David Austin

Bad form

Think is the third major Outlook update cock up from the House of Microsoft in the last 12 months. Getting tired of their laissez-faire attitude to update quality, especially with what is arguably their crown jewel in the business market.

Can't help but draw a direct correlation between them shutting down the Trustworthy Computing unit, and updates getting less reliable. (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/19/ms_shutters_twc/)

As I Commented on that article: "OK, Microsoft - close the department, but don't you dare stop doing the work and ethos they promoted, or they'll be hell to pay."

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

David Austin

Anyone Else Surprised...

Symantec wasn't ready from the Get-Go?


Comms-slurping public bodies in UK need crash course in copy 'n' paste

David Austin


If they're not getting it right for less than twelve characters in IPv4, lord help them when widespread IPv6 kicks in...

'Drunk' developers delay software vendor's release

David Austin

Wish my Devs...

Had that good an excuse when the miss the shipping deadline.

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

David Austin

Edge is weird; for the first few versions of Windows 10, it was a fast and competent rendering engine, that someone forgot to build a UI for. Looks better now, but it just kinda sits there, ignored.

Rosetta probe's final packets massaged into new snap of Comet 67P

David Austin

Re: Amazing!

Obligatory XKCD Link:


World's first dedicated computer centre declared 'irreplaceable' by Historic England

David Austin

Re: TNMOC rocks!

Love both Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing.

Always make sure I take any visiting tech heads up there.

Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

David Austin

Ad Free?

What's their business model, then? Controversy aside, have they got a viable business model?

Google to kill Symantec certs in Chrome 66, due in early 2018

David Austin

go to example:


Don’t buy that Surface, plead Surface cloners

David Austin

Liquid Cooled

In a Laptop? Don't think I've seen that outside the Gaming laptop area, even in Business Premium before.

My gut reaction is it sounds like a bad idea, but I could [Probably] be wrong. Anyone willing to weigh in on this? Off the top of my head:

- Is the Liquid moved using convection or by pump? Wouldn't running the pump take more out of the battery than a temp controlled fan?

- Assuming it's a sealed loop for serviceability, will that give it a shelf life through coolant loss?

- How will liquid cooling cope with being bounced around in a backpack all day?

Bitcoin Foundation wants US Department of Justice investigated

David Austin

I Agree it's not money...

...But I can't see how you could reasonably argue it's not Monetary Instruments, which in the UK at least means most financial laws would cover both.

Still the trouble of actually tracking down the xcoin users at the other end of the transaction, but one step at a time.

Microsoft's fix for web graphics going AWOL? Disable your antivirus

David Austin

Re: Is IE still a thing?

It's useful to run Cookie Clicker in the background, so my other browsers can get on with real work.

David Austin

Re: Who'd be a web designer?

I know you were being tongue in cheek, but I can think of a fair few websites I use where that setup would be a huge improvement for usability and/or performance...

I'm not saying the look isn't important, but some web developers sometimes need a gentle reminder that it doesn't trump the other two...

So what's in the new Windows Insider build? Bug fixes, an AR goof-around, and a font

David Austin

Virtual or Augmented reality?

Of the two, I can see augmented growing faster, even against Vive PSVR and Rift, which are viable products.

Step outside of gaming, and augmented seems the more immediately useful, cheaper to deploy, and more portable than the current goggles.

Petition calls for Adobe Flash to survive as open source zombie

David Austin

It's Legacy Tech

If you wanna play with it, fire up a Windows 98 VM without internet access, the same way that someone would want to play with any old versions of stuff in a secure way (Looking your way, RealMedia)

Nothing stopping you building an oldskool machine with 1995/1998/2001 era technology and software. No need to keep this zombie shuffling on for the rest of us.

Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

David Austin

No Problem with paint3D replacing paint...

..but last build I looked at, it was either missing a huge amount of basic classic paint features, or did a bloody good job of hiding them. I'm reasonable technical, but with all the 3D Controls, doing some of the basic stuff like transparent cutting was either impossible or a ball-ache.

There's a lot to be said for paint Classic's "Keep It Simple, Stupid interface"

I'm not dissing on paint 3D: it's an amazing free built in app for doing rendering and 3D printing, but they're two different programs with two very different usage cases.

Microsoft reveals first Windows Server Insider Build

David Austin

For Clarity

If you are on the current public Windows Server 2016 14393, if you don't intervene manually, will that go onto the twice yearly update system, or the LTSB?

With most SMB customers I work with, Windows server is basically file and AD, so the stability and less intervention of the LTSB seems more attractive than the bleeding edge version, which will have many (Admittedly cool) features, but few they'll want or need.

Three Microsoft Outlook patches unpatched, users left to DIY

David Austin

Re: Outlook still turns invisible for me

On Office 2013+, the normal fix for that is to disable Hardware Acceleration:

Start any Office program.

On the File tab, click Options.

In the Options dialog box, click Advanced.

In the list of available options, click to select the Disable hardware graphics acceleration check box.

From https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/2768648/display-issues-in-office-client-applications

Java 9 release back on track, community votes 'yes'

David Austin

Community Process

"[...]in spite of warnings from Oracle that a “no” vote would undermine the community process."

That's... some of the most ass backwards logic I've heard since Oracle sued their employee after arbitration.

community process is great... as long as they agree with us.


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