* Posts by defiler

990 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

ARM chip OG Steve Furber: Turing missed the mark on human intelligence

defiler Silver badge

Re: Two parameters involved

Everyone knows Rastamouse has rhythm.

No, the FCC can't shut down TV stations just because Donald Trump is mad at the news

defiler Silver badge

Re: The film "Idiocracy"


Google adds planets and moons to Maps, but puts bits in the wrong places

defiler Silver badge

Re: Bugger

Thumbs up for '39 - it's been a long time since I heard that.

Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

defiler Silver badge

Re: Ian Rankin is dangerous!

You're probably easier catching Rankin in the pub around these parts :)

Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

defiler Silver badge

Re: Squeezebox

"Eleven???! That is quite a lot."

Indeed. Tin - where do you live, and when are you going on holiday?

I'll... umm... water your plants - that's it!

defiler Silver badge


defiler Silver badge

Re: Squeezebox

Thumbs-up for the Squeezebox.

I have a Squeezebox 2 and 3 Booms. Love them, and with the open-sourced server anyone can jump in and make a device. It'd be nice to be able to buy an off-the-shelf device that would work with it...

I know you can slap together a Pi with SqueezeLite, and there are half-decent DACs and amps you can hook into it, but a nice, neat turnkey box (like a Sonos) would be great.

Western Dig's MAMR is so phat, it'll store 100TB on a hard drive by 2032

defiler Silver badge

Microwaves? :-/

But they told us not to put metal things into microwaves.

Still, be good for a sly burrito at the cabinet...

Look! Over there! Intel's cooked a 17-qubit chip quantum package

defiler Silver badge

It's all witchcraft

I don't understand how it works, so it can't possibly be real. I know how my dad feels about normal computers now...

Thumbs up for the subheading though!

El Reg was invited to the House of Lords to burst the AI-pocalypse bubble

defiler Silver badge

Re: Sarah O'Connor

I see I was beaten to it. I was worried things had gone off the rails around here!

defiler Silver badge

Sarah O'Connor and AI?

Come with me if you want to live.

Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

defiler Silver badge

Re: Midland Bank

I stand corrected!

defiler Silver badge

I believe it was Barclays. But you're quite right.

Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

defiler Silver badge

Re: Million to one chances occur nine times out of ten*

You noticed that too?

I can confidently put my hand up and say that we have a tape library that didn't read a batch of labels. Some it would read inconsistently, and others not at all. Got hold of a label vendor and gave them the make/model of the library. "Yes, we'll provide labels that work." And they did.

Another On-Call that I've lived and breathed...

Intelsat and Intel reckon satellite spectrum could help with 5G's coming capacity crunch

defiler Silver badge

I keep telling people

There's only so much spectrum to pass around.

Surely the sane urban solution is more towers at a lower power, handling fewer users? And for people to accept that eventually these things get full. Also for people with static applications to use a wire...

Aren't the smart electricity/gas meters supposed to report via GPRS? Because once they're rolled out they'll be in the field for a long time, tying up that spectrum and forcing the mobile phone operators to support GPRS for decades. That can't help - it'd be like having an 802.11b device permanently on your wireless...

Russian telco backs up North Korea's sole Internet link

defiler Silver badge

Very helpful of the Russians

But at the same time, you can bet they'll be logging every packet going down that wire. If I had North Korea on my doorstep I'd want to know exactly who's speaking to them.

Friends close and all that.

Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback

defiler Silver badge

Re: I find such projects a bit sad

"Although I agree Linux and Python are a bit of a mouthful to swallow at once compared to switching an 8bit on and typing "10 print 'hello world'"

That's why I'll be setting one up for my lad with RiscOS. BBC BASIC FTW!! And it's got enough poke to do big-boy stuff. And if he ever decides that's what takes his interest, there's an ARM assembler in the box too.

By the time he gets to that stage, a bit of Python and C shouldn't be beyond his grasp.

I'll even encourage my daughter to give it a bash. She has a very different mindset, though, so I'm not convinced it'll be her thing.

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

defiler Silver badge

"Politicians didn't listen to the sneering experts"

There's a reason for that, you know. "People in this country have had enough of experts" - Michael Gove said so, so it must be true.

I'm just wondering where all the tax revenue is going to come from when the entire financial sector collapses due to an international loss of faith in the encryption of British comms...

Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

defiler Silver badge

Re: Don't need to simulate that star a few billion light years away...

Is this the bit where I say "Right on, Commander"?

Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

defiler Silver badge

Re: At DEC's headquarters in Maynard


"And that is why you should have an external system monitoring and alerting, not rely on kit on just one site."

And that is assuming there is the budget and the equipment to do this. Most company IT systems don't have that luxury. And a big part of the problem, for a long time, was BT - let's be honest. Given the cost of leased lines back in the day, it was cripplingly expensive to monitor client equipment.

In 2000 we had a guy come in to demo Unicenter TNG to us. Nice South African chap. He tried to push it that we could use this to monitor a remote system over a simple leased line. Then we explained to him how much leased lines cost in the UK...

Somewhat different these days, but it still assumes that you have multiple sites to play with.

defiler Silver badge

Re: At DEC's headquarters in Maynard

"RAID is not a particularly useful way to maintain reliability"

RAID is a magnificently useful way to maintain reliability. It's just not a perfect way to maintain reliability.

defiler Silver badge

Re: Did anyone else expect something else?

Until I realised I'm the only one with plans to a diesel powered vibrator

Really? I've suggested this so often - it almost designs itself...

'Dear diversity hire...' Amazon's weapons-grade fail in recruitment email to woman techie

defiler Silver badge

Re: Improve gdp?


Exactly what I thought? Is it because the employers can pay minorities less because they're clad of the job? :-/

Doesn't really help...

Gov contractor nicked on suspicion of Official Secrets Act breach

defiler Silver badge

Re: Wow...

"Yes, Minister" was a documentary.

The West Wing were the people you'd hope were in charge

Yes, Minister were the people you'd believe were in charge

The Thick Of It were the people that probably are in charge

UK third worst in Europe for fibre-to-the-premises – report

defiler Silver badge

Re: Central Manchester


The fibre run is Virgin, not Openreach. And you're right in what you're saying - when Openreach work they're (generally) great. But when they don't it turns into a game of pass-the-parcel with the problem.

I've had a DSL line problem bounced between ourselves and three other agencies for about 2 months before I walked onto the site with snips and a punch tool and reterminated it. Worked great after that. And I have had a number of episodes like that...

In the case of this Manchester site, though, I reckon there's water in the cables, and that would be a mammoth nettle to grasp. The client are delighted with their fibre line. And Pulsant were an easy choice because that same client have had SDSL and EFM from them for years beforehand with exactly zero issues.

(I don't work for Pulsant, and I accept that they've had their issues over the years, but their business comms have been pretty robust.)

defiler Silver badge

Central Manchester

One of our clients had super-shonky ADSL. I think the duct is flooded or something, because it's bad all the time, but really takes a crap in foul weather. FTTC, we though - that'll get us past some (lots) of the ducting intact. Exchange is live. Cabinet scheduled for <5 months. Then they pulled the plug on the upgrade so they can push out FTTP.

What? So we can't get FTTC in there this year and FTTP later? We ditched Openreach and got an all-fibre line in via Pulsant. Sorted.

NASA, Roscosmos: We're building a lunar space station!

defiler Silver badge

Well, if we're just talking...

...with no commitments at all, I propose Citadel Station. It'd operate as a mining facility orbiting Saturn.

Quick bit of AI to keep everything ticking over, and we're done.



Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …

defiler Silver badge

Re: A name?

Australian Space Development Agency - ASDA.

Kebab and pizza shop owner jailed for hiding £179k from the taxman

defiler Silver badge

Fiddling the VAT...

The first rule of being VAT registered is "you don't fuck with the VAT man".

The second rule of being VAT registered is "YOU DO NOT fuck with the VAT man".

Virtually nobody ever got jailed for swerving their PAYE / NI / Corp tax. Loads are in the clink for VAT.

What a trumpet.

You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

defiler Silver badge

Re: Had this from the IT tech side before


Yeah - 2012R2 was per-CPU with minimum 2 CPUs. 2016 is per-core with minimum 8 cores.

Of course, most of our servers are 10-cores per socket. Sigh...

Also - I am not Microsoft Licensing. I just have to steer people in roughly the right direction from time to time. They have an 0800 number if you need to speak to them and they've always been very friendly with me!

defiler Silver badge

Re: Had this from the IT tech side before

"used Datacenter Edition on everything no matter what"

Not clever, but if you're running reasonably dense VMs it means that you license the hardware once and all of your Windows VMs on that hardware are covered. Of course, Microsoft have got wise to the ever-increasing number of cores on a CPU, and there's an element of per-core in there now, but it rapidly works out cheaper than Server Standard if you're cramming the VMs in.

I don't know how this works with Server 2016 and Containers. Anyone?

Blame Canada? $5.7m IBM IT deal balloons to $185m thanks to 'an open bag of money'

defiler Silver badge

Re: Not a surprise

IBM would of excelled at in the old days.

You mean they'd just get a machine running Excel to do the work and wrap it up in a huge box with P O W E R stamped on the front? Thought they'd use Lotus 1-2-3... :-/

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...

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.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019