* Posts by defiler

958 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

defiler Silver badge

Re: Conficker

Just for shits and giggles, Password123 meets the Active Directory password complexity requirements. It's not all that complex...

defiler Silver badge

Re: I'm unintentionally awesome at work regularly

Ach - I bumped into an old boss who'd bumped me. Long, bitter story...

He did volunteer, though, that since I was away everything kept breaking. People had problems with all sorts of things. All because I wasn't there spinning the right plates at the right times. They had no idea how much of what I did in that place.

defiler Silver badge

I'm unintentionally awesome at work regularly

At least on a weekly basis. It's a shame that managers, users, basically anybody outside the thin seam of experienced techies ever realises. Until I've left, I suppose...

IT plonker stuffed 'destructive' logic bomb into US Army servers in contract revenge attack

defiler Silver badge

Re: Slightly inflated cost estimate here?

Also you're forgetting the military markup - anything for the military costs at least 3x what it does on civvie street. Hell, sometimes it's even for good reasons, but I suspect this may be a case of "we're used to paying over the odds - shut up and take our (government) money!!"

I'm sitting here wondering how a middle-aged man becomes so petty as to wilfully try to damage an ex-client's system. I mean, I'm no stranger to losing my exquisite cool over client stupidity, but I wouldn't even consider this. Especially if they've just changed suppliers at the end of a contract run.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

defiler Silver badge

Re: What use is a Quad HD screen?

To drive the price down so we can get them in the next-gen VR headsets :)

Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

defiler Silver badge

It looks like you're trying to drive in circles

Fuck off, Clippy!!!

Microsoft Office 365 Exchange issues for users across Europe

defiler Silver badge


"availability achieved on their own on-prem service for the last five years"

My On-Prem mailbox availability has averaged 365.2 days per year since 2012-09-18. That is, I have not had a single day when the users were unable to access their email in five years.

Yes, I'm proud of that. No, I'm not taking it for granted. If we're going to punish me, we can drop it to maybe 365.1 days and accept that there's maybe been a half day in total when the Transport Hub has stalled on a machine and has needed a swift kick to resume committing messages to the Information Store.

I'm generally fairly generous and call it Office 358. After all, everyone needs a week off from time to time.

A todger, a 2.5kg dumbbell, the fire brigade... and the inevitable angle grinder

defiler Silver badge

Ummm - I fell...

Seriously, I think it should be part of the CE regs that all holes must be clearly too small to stuff a penis into, or too big to get one stuck.

Either that or there should be legislation that said appendages are forfeit to the Gods of Misadventure.

Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

defiler Silver badge

Re: 'Hope somebody answers you that way'

"just a shame some ( I SAID SOME - NOT ALL !!!) of the users are arse wipes."

Some of the users are arse wipes everywhere...

I'm sure we can all agree that there are arseholes on Linux (but when you find an answer on the fora it tends to be very thorough). There are definitely arseholes on Windows (but you learn which sites have great responses). There are arseholes on MacOS, iOS, Android, Solaris, AIX, RiscOS, OS/2, TauOS...

Wherever you get enough people, you'll find an arse there souring it for everyone. But, again for *all* of these systems, the genuinely encouraging and helpful people always outnumber the arseholes.

'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

defiler Silver badge

Re: A long time ago....

It's pronounced "nukular family"

Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

defiler Silver badge

Re: Virtual ?

"Virtual servers aren't run in bags of gas, you know."

Wait. What? :-/

AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

defiler Silver badge

Re: there's a moderately-sized DC in central London that had water fire suppression ...


Nope - the wet DC I'm thinking of up over near Aldgate. Well, that makes two then! Water-cool-a-go-go!! :)

defiler Silver badge

Re: I've thought of this often

Apparently more people than just me have considered this...

Firstly, full disclosure - I water-cooled my home desktop for years and liked it. A lot. Sadly it's all aluminium parts, so I can't really extend it or update any part of it so I eventually had to retire it when things stopped being able to be bodged into place. I'd do it again, but better things to do with money now that I have kids...

Directly water-cooling rack-mounted servers means that you have to have some way of coiling the pipes up so that you can draw the servers out of the rack on rails and not have to unplumb them - that's what I mean about the headache. A teeny leak can cause havoc, and good luck getting a warranty on that kit. And when you first connect it, you'll end up with bubbles somewhere. Again, a headache.

I did mention Fluorinert, which could then be exchanged to water at the back of the chassis. Reasonably sane, but you still have the extendable plumbing issue. At least internally it can be a sealed system with no bubbles!

Yeah - water-cooled cabinets. Looked at the sheets, but never seen one in the flesh so I couldn't possibly comment more.

Low-grade heat. Ledswinger has it. There's not many uses for it, and you can't transport it far without losing the heat in it. Under-floor heating? Great. Pool heating? Great. Domestic hot water? Not so much. I don't think it _needs_ to be kept above 60 degrees all the time, but it needs to be up past there for at least a couple of hours a day for legionella (I am not a plumber, but I have spoken to many), so it adds up to much the same thing. Wall-mounted radiators need 60 degrees, or have to be massively oversized. So until everyone gets a pool or under-floor heating then we're rather stuck for what to do with it. That's why I suggested banging a heat-pump in the middle. You'll get a lower flow-rate, but higher temperature.

And the datacentres that we're located in would still go apoplectic if you started running water into the halls. That said, there's a moderately-sized DC in central London that had water fire suppression last time I was there (about 2 years ago). Maybe they'd let you hook in...

defiler Silver badge

I've thought of this often

Except that you really don't want the headache of water-cooling your rack-mounted servers. A single leak becomes a real headache. Besides, datacentres are curiously tetchy about piping water in and around the machine halls... You can use Fluorinert or similar, but then you can't use plastic pipes and fittings. So then you're down to dragging the heat out of the air.

I also wouldn't want to get a plumber out in an emergency. It was bad enough waiting for the IBM guy to turn up for a cooling fault. 8 days, and he still made an arse of it - put on so much thermal paste you'd have thought he was laying tiles...

But anyway - hot air -> aircon -> fluid -> heat pump to ramp up the temperature -> ??? -> profit!

New Horizons probe awakens to receive software upgrade

defiler Silver badge


"The update procedures have become more robust"

They tend to come with dual memory banks for the firmware these days, so if it borks it can fail back to the other. Not so much in the old days, and I wouldn't like to be on that with New Horizons. Every byte is payload.

defiler Silver badge


Totally this ^^^

I remember The Fear when flashing the firmware on Adaptec 2940UW cards. I also remember the panic when one failed, but then I hacked that machine to boot off something else and bring up the SCSI later.

I imagine that's not really an option in this case. :-/

Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

defiler Silver badge

Re: Memory Utilisation

I can't get close to 10GB myself, but if you leave Gmail open all the time it does love to hoover up the RAM. Maybe you leave your computer on 24/7 - it'll just keep sipping away. I've seen Chrome swallow >1GB on a Gmail tab.

defiler Silver badge

Seen in the wild!

I helped a customer out just yesterday and was flabbergasted that she was running Edge as her browser of choice. I thought better of offering alternatives - not my place to go around confusing people.

Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

defiler Silver badge

I don't think you're allowed to dump radioactive waste at the bottom of the ocean, though. Besides, would that not give them superpowers or something?

Nope - that's pretty-much the only flaw I can find. Swap the rads for ballast, and let's start looking at implementation.

SpaceX sneaks in X-37B space plane launch ahead of Hurricane Irma

defiler Silver badge

Re: Getting bored now

It's Apollo 12.

First time out it was amazing. Now, I nearly skipped past the video. But I didn't, so it's okay.

They've made the startling commonplace, and well done to them!

We don't need another hero: Huawei overtakes Apple – even without a big-hitter

defiler Silver badge

Recently got an Honor 8 Pro

I have to say, it's an astounding phone. Very, very quick. Huge, bright, clear screen. Got 3 days out of a charge. I'm not surprised they're doing well.

My wife picked up a Samsung Galaxy S8, and I think I prefer mine. The S8 has a *slightly* bigger screen in a *slightly* smaller case, but I'm not a fan of the screen-to-the-edge thing. And I can shove 2 SIMs in mine, which seems to be lacking from the Samsung lineup as sold in the UK.

Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

defiler Silver badge

Oracle fans

AMBxx asked 3 days ago:

"Any Oracle fans out there?"

Fewer and fewer with each passing hour, I suspect.

defiler Silver badge

Sales is hard

Sales is hard, and it's necessary. You go around being told "no" a hell of a lot of the time. Someone once described it to me as "collecting nos".

For every 100 calls you make, you might get one person to speak to you face-to-face. For every 100 meetings, you might get one good deal out of it. Referred business is a different game.

I once thought the same of sales, until I ended up having to do it. Then all your technical knowledge in almost worthless.

However, I will concede that some salespeople need kept on a lead to stop them promising the impossible...

Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

defiler Silver badge

Re: infinity monkeys in infinite time....

"A seven year old contributing to the SMTP messaging system would surely have been news at the time and remembered."

I dunno - RFC821 was spectacularly simple. A bright 7-year-old using the IRC name "OldD00d1964" could have helped. After all, my son seems to know everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about Nintendo...

Whoosh, there it is: Toshiba bods say 14TB helium-filled disk is coming soon

defiler Silver badge

Re: Fuck a duck!


Colour centrefold on the Internet? Wouldn't be Lena Soderberg by any chance? I still remember her being used as one of the JPEG test subjects...

defiler Silver badge

Re: Need to check if it's any use for A/V storage

Only if you're writing for a hifi magazine. Best use one of those directional network cables...

defiler Silver badge

Fuck a duck!

My first HDD was 20MB in my old Archimedes, and I know plenty of people who had smaller drives before me.

Remember having to clear out 650MB to make an ISO before writing a CD? Kids today etc etc...

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

defiler Silver badge

Re: Smart meters and electricity storage


Yep - certainly not looking for a fast answer. As I say, it's something that struck me whilst driving. However, I'll make the observation that the point at which the electricity is drawn from your parked vehicle would surely be when the spot price of electricity is very high. Otherwise there's no point in drawing that energy out.

defiler Silver badge

Re: Smart meters and electricity storage


"The idea of being paid a profitable rate for your re-export may sound nice"

That's not what I'm driving at, though. I'm just looking to be paid the same to export a kWh as I paid to import it. I'd "happily" accept the losses due to chemistry, inverters etc - that would be a price I'd sort-of expect to pay. I just think it's unreasonable for me to pull electricity into the house at rate n and for the electricity company to be able to demand that back out again at rate n/4 when all I've done is kept it safe for them.

Also just wait for the first Enron-a-like to notice that they can "flip" electricity through their customers and glean 3n/4 for each kWh they manage to channel. Cha-ching!

defiler Silver badge

Smart meters and electricity storage

I had a small thought on this over the weekend. It's an idea that's been floated a few times - when we all have electric cars, these can be used to provide "surge" supply onto the grid, rather than using pumped storage hydro and similar. That way, it's all nicely distributed, and the end user picks up the tab for providing the infrastructure. The thing is, though, that if you've spent 15p/kWh (for example) charging your car, you don't want to sell that back to the grid at wholesale 4p/kWh (or whatever it is). That gives the supplier a huge incentive to draw electricity from you.

So, an export meter won't work.

What you want in this case is a meter that'll run backwards, to fully refund you for the electricity you're providing. Only they've got rid of all of these.

Not sure there are enough faces to palm over this whole project.

Boffins turn to AI to zip through piles of gravitational lenses

defiler Silver badge

Re: Have I Got This Right?

Yep. That's pretty-much neural nets.

There are no hard and fast rules. Just a bunch of weightings. Imagine, if you will, a flawed analogy:

You have a machine with a video feed going in at one end, and an 8x8 grid of knobs to turn. None of the have any labels, and there is no map of how each one is wired together. At the other end is a screen that gives you stats on what is detected in the image.

That's pretty much it.

By testing the machine's output and saying "colder" or "warmer", you instruct a marvellous mechanical golem to tweak the knobs more-or-less randomly until it converges on some settings that *appear* to give the correct result on the training data.

Then the real challenge is to repeat that success with fresh test data, so that the net detects tanks instead of cloudy days...

Two million customer records pillaged in IT souk CeX hack attack

defiler Silver badge

CVV code

I thought it was illegal / a breach of regs to retain the CVV. That's why every time my wife wants to use JustEat, it's a hunt for the card...

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

defiler Silver badge

Re: Yeah... this is one of the many reasons..

"It started it's life with XBMC"

Pah - you're a newcomer unless you had XBMP on a chipped XBox. :D

(Now on my 8th XBMP/XBMC/Kodi device - those Rapsberry Pis work a treat, especially with CEC!)

If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016

defiler Silver badge

Re: When the only tool you have is Excel


That's good to know, thanks. That update wasn't available when we had to make the choice, and I'm grizzly enough to assume that any 32-bit task will slam into the stops when it hits 2GB. It'll save us some mucking about with other clients though.

defiler Silver badge

Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

We have clients for whom we've had to deploy 64-bit Excel because some of their spreadsheets were getting worryingly close to 2GB RAM in use. Surely there has to be a better tool for this. In fact, we've suggested better ways for them to do it. But no, Excel all the way and damn the RAM.

'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

defiler Silver badge

Re: what's wrong with the Australian road train setup?


Thank you - I did look, but I had thought it was Stobart so I had no chance!

defiler Silver badge

what's wrong with the Australian road train setup?

This, and very much this.

There is legislation on the maximum length of artics in the UK, and having road-train-style vehicles is banned. I remember a few years ago a news article that Eddie Stobart (I think) were trialing oversized lorries that were technically too long for the road, but they said they'd basically wing it.

This wireless trial would seem to dodge that legislation by making them separate physical entities, even though they are operated together. Surely the simpler solution would be to legislate to permit road-trains instead on certain routes. Same saving on fuel and salaries.

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

defiler Silver badge

When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

I know that feeling, too. But with Exchange it was a case of "everything stopped and God couldn't make it work again".

There may have been ways to coax it back to life, but I didn't take the chance. When Exchange 2003 SP2 came out, I'd always set the limit to 72GB in the registry, keeping those 3GB in hand for the inevitable emergency when it would hit the stops.

Telling the boss "all of the company email will stop in 4 months if nobody clears out" had the desired effect (unusually). That company was still using Exchange 2003 in 2012, with the same 72GB mailstore limit...

defiler Silver badge

Your high horse is getting tired...

Back in the day we had a 4GB limit on the Exchange mailstore. Not per mailbox, but for the whole database. Sure, at the time that was a lot, but when you have 100 staff in a solicitor's office, it's amazing how quickly it goes.

"Well you can pay for Enterprise, or we can extract the data to PST, but please be careful with them" becomes "Well you can pay... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... or we can extract... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." which is quickly answered by "the second one".

Also, bear in mind that around these parts, partner solicitors don't draw a (meaningful) salary, but take a split of the profit at the end of the year. So when you ask them to pay for something, that's taking money out of their pocket.

This story is agonisingly familiar - I have been the miracle-worker for this kind of crap more times than I really want to consider.

El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

defiler Silver badge

Re: This was my grandfather's HDD.

Not a Deskstar then?

defiler Silver badge

Re: What's in it for me?

The benefit is speed. And for the short term that's the only benefit. But it is a *huge* difference in speed.

For bulk, HDD will spin along for a while to come - that much is certain. As others have said, perhaps SSD will be "just another tier" - after all, you don't need to stream movies from SSD, for example. In that case you're probably better off with HDD and a lot of buffer RAM.

SSD is allowing huge data densities (at a cost), but I'm not convinced there's much appetite for that at the moment. Not whilst it's cheaper to just rack up the HDDs.

As always, the market will decide. I fully expect in 20 years HDDs will be an anachronism. But then we'll all be panicking about the Unix epoch rollover. :)

Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

defiler Silver badge

Re: For some jobs; you really do need 4 engines.

The military tend to like having more than two engines in their big jets. I daresay there'll be surplus, retired tankers (for example), or even the option for approved customers (like those testing engines for air forces, for example) to buy these aircraft new.

(Although I don't expect the engine manufacturers give a damn about having a new plane so long as the thing flies safely.)

Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

defiler Silver badge

Well, the dismembered body was her after all

BBC News have it as a DNA match (although my fingers automatically type DNS).

I suspect Mr Madsen has some significant explaining to do...

German police seize 5,000 Donald Trump-shaped dance biscuits

defiler Silver badge

We have the best glow-sticks. The best.

And painters masks. Believe me, I know painters masks, and we're going to make Vicks great again!

Space boffins competing for $20m Moon robot X-Prize are told: Be there by March 31 – or bust

defiler Silver badge

LOL at "only ~doubling the dV" :D

Keep the payload small. Really small. Sure, there's nothing in service that can get a crew of 3, with a lander, a car, some shovels and cameras, a computer massing 35kg, a second computer massing 35kg, a ready supply of flags, enough fuel to get home, and some spiffy costumes to the moon; but I'm comfortable that SpaceX (for example) could get a small robot there.

defiler Silver badge

Re: Keep in mind it took (at its peak) nearly 5% of the US federal budget to do it in 9 years.

To be fair, they're also just* dropping a robot.

For certain values of "just" that involve transporting a robot to the moon and landing it intact on the surface. But at least they don't have to worry about a greasy thing wrapped in a t-shirt.

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

defiler Silver badge

@emullinsabq Re: When MS Was Good

"Windows 95 was good. It offered a 32-bit memory model to the masses at a reasonable price."

I got OS/2 Warp (v3) in 1994. It was the red-spine version, and cost less than my copy of Windows 95 that I bought in 1995. And it gate a proper 32-bit memory model. And it was rock-solid, even when I was showing off playing Descent in a Windows whilst writing a CD (you know, the proper *gold* ones that were a fiver a pop, and you had to put into a caddy before inserting into the drive).

Windows 95 was not good. It was adequate. But it was bearable in 4MB of RAM, unlike OS/2 (to be fair).

Intel's diversity numbers are out – and that 'push' has become more of a 'gentle nudge'

defiler Silver badge

It can't be easy

Two things strike me here.

1) In a company whose staff is actually shrinking (https://www.statista.com/statistics/263567/employees-at-intel-since-2004/), you can only replace leavers. You can't go on a massive hiring boost to pad numbers and demographics. And many of those leaving will also be in this cryptic URM group.

2) You can only hire from the available pool of job-seekers. It's been bemoaned time and time again that technology education is shockingly under-attended by women, for example. I don't know the stats by race (and being in the privileged position of white, middle-aged male, it's not something I've felt compelled to actively seek out, to be honest), but if I'm interviewing for the same post at the same salary and one candidate is massively more educated and qualified than the other, I'll go with the qualifications regardless of race or gender. The problem needs fixed from below, and that is something that Intel can have a hand in changing, but it takes time.

As a footnote, I'd like to hope that these groups are being represented evenly(ish) across the spectrum of (shall we say) "job prestige". It's no good having all the managers white/asian, all the janitors latino, and then celebrating "diversity" - you've just reinforced Alphas and Epsilons...

Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

defiler Silver badge

Re: CPU cores haven't got much faster* recently

Of course the individual cores haven't got much faster, but the density has. HPC is not a single-threaded game, and the throughput of a physical server is still skyrocketing. Similarly, the performance per Watt is racing upwards.

The cost of optimising code on a large HPC installation pales when compared to the cost of powering the thing. All I'm saying is that there's a crossover beyond which it's uneconomical to use older hardware, even if it's free. I'm not even saying that Durham have reached that - merely pointing out that it's a huge factor in the decision to acquire something like this.

defiler Silver badge

Ghetto but good

The problem is that if you're really going for HPC, the power requirements of the old kit (FLOPS/Watt) get pretty nasty pretty fast. Not to say there's no purpose in doing this, but it's always worth working out where the cut-off on running costs is - how much electricity can you get for the money you save, and how much work can you get done for that.

That said, for small businesses (and university departments), old gear is great for running file/email/whatever servers. Just make sure you have enough redundancy for failures.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019