* Posts by BongoJoe

1236 posts • joined 3 Apr 2010

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Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?

BongoJoe
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Re: So?

...and getting knighthoods for just Reading Out Aloud!

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New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online

BongoJoe
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select count(*) from applicants where date_of_application >= <this years recruitment start date>

or did someone forget to add the date of application into the table.

Or the Code assumed the date to be in British Format whereas the date format internally within the database was in American Format. And some developers catered for this difference and some didn't.

I've seen that before. Which is why on anything to do with dates I always start from the base date of 1/1/1970 (either format, of course) and then do anything with dates as Integers based on this. A pain but, oddly enough, everything that I have touched never got that wrong.

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Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

BongoJoe
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Re: Recycle platters from modern hard disks

But if you get your disk from landfill, make sure it's not the one with £180m of bitcoin on it.

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Los Angeles police tell drivers not to trust navigation apps as wildfires engulf area

BongoJoe
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Re: Techdrone

One of the health and safety notices that I have saved came with my drumstool: "Do not use in earthquakes"

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New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning

BongoJoe
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Re: Is that enough?

Car drivers need situational awareness in only two dimensions

I would have thought it was a lot more than just two. There's time as well to consider as well as the plain vector. Such as, if I slow down will there be enough room for the oncoming car which is now moving off on an angle away from directly on, or if I put another few mph onto my speed, will I get into the passing place coming up and will I be able to stop? Is there ice on the road and, if so, are my rear wheels following the same path as my front wheels?

But cars turn and there's all sort of differential equations going on in real time in one's head to anticipate where things are going.

So, I would say two dimensional awareness isn't anywhere sufficient.

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Spy-on-your-home Y-Cam cameras removes free cloud storage bit

BongoJoe
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Re: Lifetime Guarantee!

Like pacemakers.

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From the graaaaaave! WileyFox's Windows 10 phone delayed again

BongoJoe
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Re: Only but if you like shit customer service.

Oh, sounds like you didn't get your purchase rebate either.

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Royal Bank of Scotland culls 1 in 4 branches, blames the interwebz

BongoJoe
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Re: Last Bank In Town

I noticed that NatWest and the old Midland solve that tricky problem of remaining to be the last bank in town by both arranging to shut down on the same day.

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Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!

BongoJoe
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Re: The ideal location

I think that I may regret moving to Scotland...

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BongoJoe
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Re: @GBE They're going to move it.

Having held a kilt for my friend one time

Why? What on earth was he doing at the time that required someone to hold his kilt for him?

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Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

BongoJoe
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... and we were completely unable to sort out the education system to keep it going.

Exactly.

The education system kept churning out Middle Managers which were the bane of my techie life.

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A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

BongoJoe
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Re: Classic software

I still use a version of Paint Shop Pro, pretty much on a daily basis. Version 1 released in 1990.

I use PSP on a near daily basis too. My version is v8 which came out in 2003 and works well. For what I use it for I can't imagine a better tool even though I assume that it's been improved significantly since that year.

caveat: Assuming, of course, that one installs that patch which allows to save over an pre-existing file (yes, that was a bit of a corking bug)

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BongoJoe
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Re: 30 years on...

Oh yes, indeed

And try to explain what you mean to a user, over a telephone, that they have perhaps opened a new instance of Excel rather than opened a spreadsheet into the same instance of Excel...

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BongoJoe
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Normally, yes.

But there are advantages with Access with million row databases (I have one) over 'proper database servers' such as:

- Back up (XCOPY *.mdb will do the trick)

- Sharing the data with a chum who is not on the network and is clueless (it's on your drop box, copy it somewhere and then open it)

- Not having to maintain a proper database server

Doing these things whilst at work and being paid for, as one person above mentioned this, and doing this at home when one wants simplicity is another.

I could have a proper database and that being backed up but it's easier to rebuild a machine that's died, sling onto it Office via CD/DVD and then copy from pendrive the .mdb file.

But despite the million record tables in my Access it's never died. Perhaps because I haven't used it for multi-user which, once upon a time, used to kill it (unless one did lots of clever stuff, but that's another story).

It's another one of these If It's Access/Excel/VBA then it must be crap memes. It's actually a bloody good little database. Not perfect but still bloody good and has given me less grief than SQL Server over the years.

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BongoJoe
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Mushroom

Re: "I have to say Excel is one thing Microsoft got right."

Trouble is that the Autocalculate option turns itself on just for the fun of it every now and then.

Sometimes it's because I've opened a spreadsheet constructed by someone else and,sometimes, because Excel bloody well feels like it and I wonder why my machine seems to have stopped dead for a few minutes.

I wish that the sodding thing would stay off when turned off.

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BongoJoe
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VBA is massively underrated.

In the spreadsheet that I am using day in and day out, I couldn't have done the operation with formulae. But there can't be much that can be done in C++ that can't be done in VBA.

One sheet I use most days is something that I have knocked up which handles linked lists with tens of thousands of entries and has its own garbage collection built in. Doing stuff like that, without storing the data within a sheet, would be nigh on impossible and even if I used a worksheet to store the data rather than in a linked list I would perhaps still need VBA.

If one treats VBA as Visual Basic 6 with $APPLICATION objects glued in (be it Excel, Word, Access, Powerpoint, etc) and writes proper code then it's rather good.

Yes, one doesn't have all the fancy Object Oriented coding facilities offered to us that C++ does but it goes most of the way there, and I except that, but this doesn't mean that it's a bad language or should be taken out and shot.

Like all languages there are people who abuse it or miscode and this gives the language a bad name whereas in actual fact it's the coder that's usually to blame.

Some of my VBA applications are tens of thousands of lines long and they work perfectly. Yes, I could use a standalone language, as I do in some cases, and talk to $APPLICATION via COM. But then I've seen on these boards people saying that COM is also the spawn of the devil. Sigh

There's nothing wrong with VBA apart from a few bits of OOP architecture missing but it's still a bloody good language.

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SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

BongoJoe
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Re: To hark back to the broad band story

Do not^d^d^d use your Surface to develop a particularly taxing power point just before heading off to a meeting to deliver that power point

As they say, fixed that for you.

Yours, a previous victim of Powerpoint bludgeoning.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Fit for purpose?

As a full time motorhomer, I take an interest in what's out there with the new builds (the old ones are still better, in my view: which almost echos the Win7/Win10 viewpoints).

Anyway, Olaf, one of the UK firms of motorhome manufacturers released a year or so ago a new range of motorhomes with lots of groovy and fun extras.

One slight problem; the weight of the thing (the payload to be accurate) was in excess of what was allowed to be driven on the roads. It didn't stop them selling the motorhomes though.

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BongoJoe
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Facepalm

Re: Quite common in phones

the cable makes a huge difference

Oh, no. Let's not go here again!

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Amazon Key door-entry flaw: No easy fix to stop rogue couriers burgling your place unseen

BongoJoe
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Re: My favorite part of having a home

If I am not going to be in, I have the courier deliver it to the off-licence down the road or in the next town to where I am travelling.

That way I can be sure of the security, get a bottle of something nice with a cork in the top and, lastly, give the licencee some trade.

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Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

BongoJoe
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Re: Compuserve

Gosh me neither. I used to hang around the MS Access forums (all of them), a couple of language ones and also the Metastock stock trading one.

At the time it was a brilliant resource with lots of helpful people. And, you know what: one didn't need an Ad Blocker on one's off-line reader in those more enlightened days.

I suppose this means the end of my @compuserve.com eMail address as well.

Oh well, thanks for the service and, of course, the memories. Sigh

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US Homeland Security says hardly any Kaspersky software left on federal networks

BongoJoe
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Re: MS' Windows 10 conduited baked-in 'slurped' malware uploads work in exactly the same way.

David: Do one thing, and do it well.

Upvote from me

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

BongoJoe
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Re: Count me unimpressed

I bought an ironing board cover from Amazon one time, and for several days afterwards the only thing it would recommend was porn videos. And absolutely nothing else.

According to the AI you like hot, steamy manual back and forth action whilst bending over a table...

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

BongoJoe
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Re: Remove the note!

I once had a moth go across my screen one late, late night when my brain was utterly frazzled.

I tried to right click on it to identify it.

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This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector

BongoJoe
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Fair comment, but I've never really considered a motorhome to be anything but vaguely related to camping.

Granted, camping isn't my field of expertise by any stretch of the imagination but it's really just a hotel suite on wheels isn't it?

Which is why the SSID of our motorhome's WiFi is "TheGinPalace"

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BongoJoe
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Re: FRICKIN BRIGHTNESS????

Or how big it is in units of Welsh Swimming Pools...

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BongoJoe
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Re: Oh no, you didn't just say that.....

put 6 wine bottles in a carrier bag and carry them, Then do the same with 6 bottles in a wine carrier. which feels lighter to carry?

Oooh, that's easy. Can I answer this one?

It's the bottle carrier because half way across the car park the origami has unfolded and what was once six bottles is now a pile of broken glass and lost liquid.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Good lord.

still appreciated is the Aeropress coffee device.

Thumbs up galore from this full timer motorhomer. Though we do have an espresso machine on board.

Some things one simply cannot do without and for me it's caffeine. And gin.

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BongoJoe
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We currently live in a motorhome. I am writing this from the campsite by Perth Racecourse, last week we were by an abbey in County Durham and we're on a long tour around the UK living and working on board.

We have Netflix courtesy of our dongle with the 3 card (all the Netflix we can binge) and we have enough data to work on board and, of course, to talk to other El Communards.

We watch films and we have a PlayStation/4 on board. Why shouldn't we?

And if we're still pushed to peel a starling or to start a fire with sticks, we're still able. though not necessarily willing.

There's a few things that one needs on board and this is where the Great Sage Terry P was ever so right: good toilet paper and good denishtry... The latter is what I do lack and I am now able to get a bit part if they ever wish to remake Deliverance...

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

BongoJoe
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Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

I think that Thomas Covenant would be a gentle warm-up for the main event: The Gap Series!

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BongoJoe
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Well done for getting that far. I couldn't get past the Clearing Up Of Dinner by the horde of cheery Oirish extras seeming escaping from the wreckage of lower decks of the Titanic.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Amazed no one else hasn't commented.....

Apart from dragons, there's a Netflix show with good people, bad people, scheming and even killings.

A shame, then, that they've just axed House of Cards

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Londoners: Ready to swap your GP for an NHS vid doc app?

BongoJoe
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So, they are able to prescribe medication and to write referral letters to consultants?

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You're designing an internet fridge. Should you go for fat HTML or a Qt-pie for your UI?

BongoJoe
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Re: The code!

Judging by our fridge's performance, the read_twiddly_thing() is the seed for a random number generator...

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BongoJoe
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Re: You're designing an internet fridge.

This is perhaps the first post on the subject that makes complete sense.

Thank you

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

BongoJoe
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Re: A Peugeot...something or other

A cassette of Queen's Greatest Hits?

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BongoJoe
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Mushroom

Landrover Freelander

I used to have one of these Barbie & Ken machines and the electronics when it comes to the security aspects could have been designed by Norton.

I say this because I have lost count of the number of groups of baffled and frustrated people standing in carparks trying to lock the car but only to have negative positive signals (i.e. the bloody alarm going off) or having the back window mysteriously open.

In the end I simply discovered that the best thing to do was to leave the pile of shit unlocked. No bugger was every going to nick it.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

BongoJoe
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Mushroom

Re: Meanwhile on our side of the puddle...

We leave sick old folks to die in "nursing homes", as soon as their bank accounts have been liquidated by said homes.

I saw my inheritance pay the for the care home owner to go on an overseas golfing trip every three weeks for two weeks at a time.

Something somewhere is wrong with the system.

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BongoJoe
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Facepalm

Step Down Hospitals

Years ago we had a thing known as 'Step Down Hospitals'. These were places where patients could recover before being sent home and, thus, free themselves from the main hospitals where they would be blocking beds.

The advantages of such places were many and all obvious: they would be staffed by trained nursing staff, the place would be more informal than a hospital, the costs would be lower than a main hospital and it enabled more vulnerable patients to recover fully without being discharged prematurely.

And we have this suggestion.

How would the carer feel about the patient, getting bored and restless, walking around the house in the daytime when they're not in? Who would change the patient's dressings and toilet them? Are three microwaved meals considered wholesome and nutricious when they are given each day and every day? What happens if the patient wishes to receive visitors? And what if the patient has a relapse, will the carer know the signs and will they be trained?

These Step Down hospitals used to be all over the country and they were nearly always fantastic and did their job perfectly. But they have been sold off over the years or just simply left to crumble.

It is these that the government should be reopening and not even considering this strategy.

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NSA bloke used backdoored MS Office key-gen, exposed secret exploits – Kaspersky

BongoJoe
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Based on what we know, they probably put this comment at the top:

# VERY SECRET NSA SOURCE CODE.

# DO NOT READ THIS. IT IS VERY SECRET.

What? No line numbers and REM statements?

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BongoJoe
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Joke

Re: Oooooh, really?!?!?

They must have a lot of copies of their own software sent back to themselves then.

Which may explain why their Office325 and Hotmail/Outlook servers are often down.

Simply: they're DDOSing themselves.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Oooooh, really?!?!?

And of course the motives of the unnamed NSA operative (who cant even afford an office license apparently) might well be pretty shady.

And lives in a bedroom? How high is the fellow in the NSA ranking or don't they pay their agents enough not to live in a bedsit or with their parents?

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Forget One Windows, Microsoft says it's time to modernize your apps

BongoJoe
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and they wonder why people still use VB6. In fact, without a logical upgrade path VB6 is almost all that's left!

I think that I use VB6 for about 70% of my development these days.

The forms may not be pretty but for most things: it just works.

And my VB6 IDE runs about two million times faster than my $YEAR .Net IDE which helps. In fact, I would say that for most tasks I can get into VB6, do the coding, test, compile and release it whilst the .Net IDE is still starting up and sorting out the form editor for the one simple form that I am editing.

Upvote from me.

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BongoJoe
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Re: "Free Pascal + Lazarus is also a good bet"

I've been doing Pascal since '78 and it's done my head in too many times over the years. I did enjoy Delphi when it came out as it was something right clever for the day and age. And I will never forget that renaming a control also meant that the event handler's name was updated by the IDE.

I think that my first Pascal on Windows 3.1 was something like Borland Pascal.

And, yes, I have seen Embarcadero. Or, rather, its pricing and said NO.

Microsoft used to do a good C/C++ compiler. I remember the pile of books that came with it which weighed in at about twenty five pounds. Simple it wasn't.

I don't know. But it seemed a lot simpler in the old days when the centre of the Windows was a nice simple loop that one interrupted. No idea how it works nowadays if it does and perhaps it's a horrible dream.

I have heard of a COBOL.Net and an APL.Net and that really does take the biscuit. Perhaps I should retire to a cabin in the Welsh Marches with a weekly postal delivery, a monthly oil delivery and just go off-grid until the madness goes away because this isn't funny any more.

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BongoJoe
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I am starting to wonder what on earth is in all of these .Net development packages because I can't keep up any longer.

I am thinking of finding something like Borland C that runs on Windows 7 and just using that from now on because I am tired of finding all my applications being obsolete and it's time to find the simplest code set possible.

I have really had enough with Microsoft. Once they had a good and simple vision and now I haven't got a clue what they are doing and, thus, I haven't got a clue as to what I should be doing.

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Microsoft may have its groove back but it's binned 'Groove'

BongoJoe
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Adam, possibly like yourself, I am puzzled by the downvoter's actions.

Why wouldn't anyone wish any unwanted applications on one's machine (which take up cycles and disk space not to mention unwanted network traffic for updates) not to be able to be uninstalled simply beats me.

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BongoJoe
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Indeed, that's just the opening stanza for Rush's Xanadu.

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New phishing campaign uses 30-year-old Microsoft mess as bait

BongoJoe
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Re: Outlook crap

"Does Outlook mark it as a jar file? NO. It shows a nice Word icon, as it doesn't look beyond the first extension name."

I wonder if it handles this differently if the diseased Hide Known Extensions option is disabled within what I call File Explorer?

Sorry I can't test this as I dumped Outlook some years ago. I had enough of MS' improvements and have moved since to Thunderbird.

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BongoJoe
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Re: ActiveX developed in naive times?

Not many people w half of half a clue thought like you in those days.

I would agree. Not many people with a demi-semi clue thinks, or thought, like most of us. Which I am happy to say because I wouldn't like to be on the same wavelength as those with a QuarterClue which, I may hazard, may be where you stand too.

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