* Posts by MarkB

40 posts • joined 18 Sep 2009

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals


"Anyone remember Primix? Me neither."

Gave your Pr1mos system the performance of the equivalent volume of ready-mixed concrete?

And the "magnet" utility described as something to keep away from tapes at all costs?

(I worked for Pr1me in a previous existence)

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea


"Changing the temperature of the device changed its behaviour (from working to not working). I'd guess that moving the design to a different device would affect it similarly."

I seem to remember reading about this. If I recall correctly, simply reproducing the design "identically" (bear in mind this was actual physical circuitry) would change its behaviour - the behaviour related to a specific assembly of a specific set of components.


Re: The Joy of AI

"I saw a documentary about AI on Swiss TV a while back. It was about a man in a van who serviced pretty cows in picturesque barns while gnarled farmers looked on."

'documentary' indeed! I'm not surprised you're posting anonymously.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?


Re: Scary ?

You are Albert Campion and I claim my share of the Barnabus legacy.


AI clinician trained to save humans from sepsis – and, er, let's just say you should stick to your human doctor


I'm not sure that word means what you think it does.

"vasopressors, a medication that reduces blood pressure, "

100% wrong - Vasopressors are a group of medicines that contract (tighten) blood vessels and raise blood pressure.

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange


Re: @SVV Please, someone set up a GoFundMe

"But, but, but, how do you pronounce GIF?"

Carefully and competently.

Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend


" it was fair game to collect as many PPNs (can you guess which OS?) "

I remember my PPN as 1206,1206 when I worked on TOPS-10 in the late 70s and early 80s, but I have a feeling the PPN concept was used on other DEC operating systems.

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord


Re: reflecting opinions more than best practice

As ST comments, surely that's always been the case with Python, just as it's the case (as far as I can understand) with Perl - the language enshrines the opinions and prejudices of the single originator. That's part of my issues with both languages, as I'm not keen on some aspect of both Guido's and Larry's opinions and prejudices.

Amazon’s Snowball snowballs as Google's clone gets real and IBM's comes to Europe



What more is there to say?

Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions


Lira and Y2K in one place

COBOL on PDP-10 systems allowed for 10 digit numbers - you could choose where the decimal point lay. In the system that I worked on, we had S9(6)V9(4) fields for unit prices, but if the country code indicated Italy, we had to use S9(6)V99 instead.

Dates on this system were held in 4-digit YYMM format - my first task as a fresh-faced programmer (in late 1978) was to change all the code (and the data) that regarded 7912 as an indicator for (e.g) cancelled orders - we couldn't take any more room, so just used 9912 as the new indicator. The system presumably died before Y2K, I'd moved on a couple of times by that point.

Nominet throws out US corp's attempt to seize Brit domain names


Did anyone else immediately expect something about hotels?

I wasn't thinking lubricants - though perhaps you might want them when staying at a Trust House Forte establishment. To keep your bicycle functioning well, of course...

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


Soldering irons

Funnily enough this topic came up in a different forum recently. Many decades ago (about half a century) I discovered the hard way that if you drop a soldering iron, you should NOT try to catch it.

Programmers! Close the StackOverflow tabs. This AI robot will write your source code for you


Anyone remember "The Last One"


Nearly 40 years on, I'm still earning a crust writing code, so clearly it didn't do what it said on the tin.

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


Re: If somebody does not understand... Children and relativity


Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit


Re: hearing

I thought the post was rather short of exclamation marks actually...

UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer


Re: Each chamber is 4.5 × 4.5 m2 large

Surely if you multiply 2 2-dimensional values together, you get a 4-dimensional one.

The object will be a 20.25 m4 tesseract...

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists


It goes back a fair way...

My father did national service as a radar fitter in the RAF.

He claimed that "the apprentice knows it needs to be hit; the engineer knows where; but only the fitter knows how hard"

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?


University Hall of Residence late 1970s

Two huge pots of tea on each table in the dining room.

Both contained a catering tea bag, hot water and milk.

Pot at one end had sugar, pot the other didn't...

My group of friends used to aim to be in for meals fairly promptly, so that we could drag the tea bag out of our pot before it stewed to undrinkability.

Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun


"Isn't the rhetoric 'always use {}' the same as suggesting that we do not make use of operator precedence and 'always use ()'?"

No - why do you think it is? Not that I'm averse to additional parentheses to improve (my perception of) clarity of code.

Bracing single statements in "if", "while" etc is an aid to readability, and (probably more importantly) gives some protection against bugs introduced by the inevitable addition of further dependent statements.

Blood-crazy climate mosquitoes set to ground Santa's reindeer


Surely it's mind-controlling parasitic wasps <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortitude_%28TV_series%29> we need to be worried about, isn't it?

Viper sinks fangs into unwary Indian farmer's todger


May not be totally misadventure

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-34173532 - workers on tea estates might not have much choice where they relieve themselves. Quote - "Many families have no toilets and say they have no choice but to defecate amongst the tea bushes."

Sorry, Californians, you can't have this: Asus to build WATER COOLED notebook


It's so fast...

That it's got into the news a full 7 months early - it was planned for April 1st 2016...

Google's new parent Alphabet owns abc.xyz – and, yup, there's already an abc.wtf


Just for completeness - alphabet.com is owned by BMW as Alphabet is their leasing company.

Psst.. Wanna Android all-in-one PC? We have the chip tech, says Intel



"such systems will ship for between $300 and $400 (£189-£253) "

Surely you mean "such systems will ship for between $300 and $400 (£300-£400) "...

Google buys parcel storage service for Christmas


Crucial question

Who has the patent?

Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release


Digital Research?

I thought Mr Cutler came from Digital Equipment Corporation, where he'd been developing DEC's VMS operating system...

Adele's Skyfall poised to fall from sky


Just tell me...

that she's not letting her robot pianist play on it...

'Unnamed' HP biz unit developing mystery object storage


> "For particularly sensitive data, you may choose to encrypt data prior to storing as well"

"We know ROT-13 isn't very secure, so we apply it twice".

Next-generation materials for post-Christmas repairs: Reg investigates


Re: The fumes are/were also used...

Watch enough episodes of CSI and you'll know about superglue for fingerprints...

Attention swingbellies: Pizza sauce is a healthy vegetable


as any fule kno that the tomato is a fruit

But everybody hated it when I put some in my fruit salad....

Shock movie upset - Daniel Craig still James Bond 007



"the only connection that "Quantum of Solace" had to anything Fleming wrote was the name of a short story"

That surely supports rather than refutes cloudgazer's position..

New Yorkers battle giant blindness-causing plants


Double Darnit

Beaten to the Genesis reference and to complaining about being beaten to it...

Farting death camels must die to save the world!

Black Helicopters

Other opportunities to profit?

The new green safari tour, charging mugs^Wcustomers $$$ to come to OZ to shoot camels.

PARIS team to tackle the ultimate post-pint snack


Low(er)-fat alternative

We bash our chicken breast, pork tenderloin or deboned pork chop flat with a rolling pin, coat with egg and panko crumbs, then bake them. Serve with griddled courgettes or baked sweet potato chips - Yum!

(Badgers, because that would probably be delicious too)

Welshman attempts to board train with pony


Am I first with a Commitments reference?

Young kid holding a horse at a block of high rise flats in Ballymun. Jimmy Rabitte is standing beside him.

Jimmy says "You aren't taking that in the lift, are you?"

"I have to," the boy replies. "The stairs would kill him."

Sony Pictures opens wallet for Bond 23


Whoopie Doo!

As far as I'm concerned the franchise has hit the buffers.

Both the Daniel Craig films were pretty dire - I got very bored with the card game in Casino Royale, and I couldn't find any point in Quantum of Solace. Craig is poorly cast as Bond to my mind, as he seems only capable of playing a thug - Bond needs to look smooth and sophisticated in a dinner suite at a swanky hotel or a casino, Craig just looks like a thug in a suit.

Complete waste of celluloid^Wdisk space.

Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed


People were supportive...

"People were waving and shouting and beeping their horns, the whole atmosphere was great."

Omid Djalili (Holding up a queue of traffic): "Honk if you want cheaper car insurance"...

Renault DeZir: 'leccy sex machine


Duty cycle

So I can drive for around 2 hours (@ 50mph) and then charge for 8 hours?

Sign me up!

Singapore nightclub offers booze for boobs



Man walks into a bar and asks for an entendre.

The barmaid asks "double or single". The man says "double".

The barmaid says "Right, yours is a large one".

Thieves help selves to PCs from Office for Digital Inclusion



I very much doubt it. AIUI nothing governmental is insured. The cost of insuring everything compared to the cost of replacing what is lost/broken/stolen is such that insurance doesn't add up.

I'm prepared to be proved wrong, of course.

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