* Posts by TonyJ

954 posts • joined 30 Dec 2010


Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: The great thing about Doom was...

"...That is allowed you to turn and jump sidewards with most arbitrary speed (well, as fast as that mouse with a solid, heavy metal ball could move). .."

I'm pretty sure that the original DOS-based DooM had no mouse support.

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: All credit to iD games...

"...W3d would (grudgingly) run on a 286 with just 640k of ram; Doom's official minimum spec was a 486 with 4mb of ram, though it would judder along on a 386 if you were desperate..."

Yes but it had to be a 386DX - wouldn't run on an SX. I know...I had to swap my motherboard and/or CPU.

It's so long ago I can't really remember if it was just one or both or if they came as a unit back then.

Didn't the original crash WAN links due to each round fired from the minigun being a while IPX packet? (None of that fangled TCP/IP back then, no siree).

My mate and I used to have two desktop PC's (and 15" CRT's) on the dinning room table and connected by serial cables...or that might have been a bit later with Duke Nukem 3D.

Fabulous fun though.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Legal Document?

"...I don't know what UK law is, but in Germany, for example, a prescription sent by fax (or anything sent by fax) is a legally recognized documen..."

I don't know if it's still the case but it certainly used to be, as a fax was considered to be a facsimile of an original that couldn't be altered in-flight or post-delivery.

Of course, I am sure that there are ways that they could be altered in-flight if you were able to set up some kind of MitM attack, but still.

And for that matter, I believe that the vetting agencies here in the UK (at least until recently) often had pre-programmed fax numbers that were considered acceptable means of confirming/transferring clearance but that could have been one of those half-truths I picked up along the way.

Edit: Ah look: https://www.efax.co.uk/blog/why-fax-is-legally-binding

Of course, eFax have skin in the game, but...

(And yes..I realise fax = facsimile) :)

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Administrators

"...Work? Work!?! I think you are failing to understand the business model of the standard administrator..."

You are absolutely correct - I do fail to understand it.

And indeed, came here to ask if anyone could explain why the administrators always seem to be the winners in this kind of scenario? Do they actually keep this money or is it used to pay creditors? From the wording in the article it seems it would be the former.

Not being in any way facetious - this is just something far outside of my own expertise and experience.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: This sh*t again?

"...I'm a happy firefox user, but have to accept that it's in decline. I see plenty of companies that still use IE. I see plenty that have standardised on Chrome. I'm yet to see one that uses FireFox or Edge as the desktop standard..."

No surprises there - no native GPO support has always been a killer in an enterprise. I'm not up-to-date on FF but I believe this was announced as coming?

But on top of that, things like (until a couple of yeas ago) the browse not using the Windows certificate store were also very anti-enterprise.

I had to deploy it in a high security environment and the idea of using external, relatively unknown, third-party plugins and addons to do some of this stuff was never going to be allowed.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

TonyJ Silver badge

No one else...

...picking up on the fact that this vending machine is in the "Meat Sciences Department"???

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

TonyJ Silver badge

Ethical behaviour

..."You've behaved ethically, putting long-term consumer concerns first..."

Up until now. Because it was easy to take that stance when they were selling massive quantities of phones.

But how long they continue to do this if their sales are slipping is anyone's guess but I would suspect "not that long" to be a fairly valid answer.

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

TonyJ Silver badge


If you completely wipe every machine you find where a user has simply managed to open a dodgy web page, you'd be one-busy chap! So long as the user hasn't downloaded the said "fix" from the hijacked/redirected site, the laptop should be no more infected than any other machine...."

Alas in this day and age of drive-by infection, I'd rather be busy than take the chance.

TonyJ Silver badge

"...Suitably admonished, the user went on their way..."

What...? Without wiping the possibly malware?

That bad boy would've had a wipe and reimage before it got more than 4 feet away from me.

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Interesting...

".."I did this morning, it wasn't so bad. Got some milk and a croissant. They weren't on offer though."

But were they Black...."

Wait...what...? Black milk??

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Where would most of us be......

"...If we hadn't had a go at repairing things when we were PFYs?

Without tearing things apart and putting them back together and getting them to work (frequently with bits left over) there would be little interest in technical careers. Where is the next generation of tinkerers?

I have (almost) repaired previous ipods (well the 64GB is now a 20GB as I couldn't scrape up a proper replacement drive) and am no stranger to melting my digits on a soldering iron. Apple are doing a disservice to human curiosity,

Thankfully, I had no interest in medicine....."

I couldn't agree more.

Waaay back in the day I was an electronics engineer. I fixed everything from electronic typewriters, photocopiers, cordless phones and laptops and computers all to component level.

It meant understanding what I was doing but also being able to learn what were often quite clever interpretations of various things.

Then slowly and surely things became more modular in their repair - change the entire board and don't waste time repairing it.

Surface mount devices had already started to quicken this, but custom silicon that you couldn't actually buy was a huge contributor.

Then, for me, Dell knocked what was a huge nail in the coffin by offering a complete PC (an early Optiplex, if I recall) with a 3-year on site warranty for something like £360. This would've been around '96/'97

That's when I made the switch over to projects-based work.

I dabbled for a good 10 years or so afterwards, repairing the odd CRT TV or even a pump for a power shower one time, but gradually things became less and less and less repairable.

It was a great and constant learning curve and one I still miss even now.

The death of Maplin meant no easy access to those little kits you could buy to build with the kids - not that either of mine ever showed any bias for engineering of any kind.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it's not something that has happened overnight but with the likes of Apple and their drive to make things throwaway. it does seem to have accelerated. And it's a real shame.

TonyJ Silver badge

"...Because there would be mass gun violence around the world to take it away from you for the parts?


Nurse! whoseyourdaddy is off his pills again!

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

TonyJ Silver badge

So many tings about Tesla

Let's not forget without him - no AC (edit for our US'ian cousins, I don't mean Air Con, I mean Alternating Current).

Westinghouse royally screwed him over as well, taking advantage of his will to ensure the best for others.

Mr Dabbs...this will surely do your nut in, given it's both Tesla-driven AND C&W?


Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Would they allow it if...

"...There's always Twatt, which seems appropriate as we are talking about Apple..."

Not that far from Scrabster which is a place that somehow seems suitably named.

Stopped over there (Scrabster) a few years ago on the way to the Orkney's to dive Scapa Flow.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey

TonyJ Silver badge

I'm with Vodafone

And very happy to date.

Made the move from BT - at the time I got fibre, it was literally on the day that BT updated their site to say it was available, and I had the choice of one ISP - BT.

The few times I've had to call Voda they've been knowledgeable and helpful (and UK based).

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: No headphone jack

"...it consumes a miniscule amount of space and it costs pennies..."

Many years ago in the very early 90's, one of the jobs I had was repairing Sharp electronic typewriters and word processors.

The most popular typewrite that Sharp did was also their cheapest and simplest - no memory, no bells and whistles at all - it was basically a solenoid for the hammer and a stepper motor for the daisywheel and another for the platen. You could pick them up in Boots at the time for less then 50 quid.

I went to their factory in, as I recall, Wrexham.

Speaking to one of their managers, one of our guys queried why they'd stopped putting two screws in to hold the metal frame into the case and had started to use a clip moulded into said case. They were quite brittle and if you weren't careful, it was quite easy to snap them.

The manager from Sharp said they'd done some calculations and because the process to put the components together were manual, it meant they could remove one person from that assembly line.

When scaled out, they saved 9p per screw (this included the person). They sold 100,000 units a year in the UK alone.

So those things that cost pennies start to save you a large sum of money when scaled up into the hundreds of thousands.

I'm not defending it - just giving one of the possible rationale.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

I didn't know about it either. That is excellent for folks who don't own their own domain and mail server.

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

"...Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

TonyJ : "Had a few land in my spam folder this week."

We've moved on to euphemisms for the women now, have we?.."

You're going to have to explain this one to me, I'm afraid.

TonyJ Silver badge

I've seen a definite uptick in these

Had a few land in my spam folder this week.

They all use the same throwaway password I only use on websites that insist on registration but hold no other information beyond an email address, password and login name.

Honestly though, I guess I fall into the lucky-enough-not-to-care bracket, although I do understand there are poor souls for whom such a threat must be awful.

It's clever though, when you think about it - pull an email address and password out of one of the large files of them out there and spam away. The addition of the password adds a certain level of believe-ability that would otherwise be missing and I can see how it would fool a lot of people.

We asked 100 people to name a backdoored router. You said 'EE's 4GEE HH70'. Our survey says... Top answer!

TonyJ Silver badge

Jesus what idiocy is this?

This is back to the days when all ISP supplied kit had the same crappy admin logins across the board.

Nowadays, every one I see has a tag/label of some kind with these details - it's not a stretch to print another line for this should it be required...but....why is it required?

And if you must have something like this, don't make it so easy to get that all you have to do is grep a file

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: The most hated people in society.

"...I notice that dogs came out more valued than criminals. .."

I'm more interested in the tech that can detect a criminal with such a high degree of accuracy it can choose they are the disposable human.

I ship you knot: 2,400-year-old Greek trading vessel found intact at bottom of Black Sea

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Divers ...

"...You're correct- Yes, divers max out way before that. Even with "The Abyss"-style liquid-breathing systems you'd suffer neurological damage at those depths..."

Actually...the record on open circuit SCUBA equipment is deeper than 300m:


Not that you're incorrect about the physical and neurological risks these people expose themselves to.

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: If it’s intact…

"....…why is it at the bottom of the sea? I mean, something must have compromised its buoyancy and, short of it being carefully filled with water by a capricious god, I’d have thought that same something would have broken its intactness. If I break the screen of my phone I wouldn’t describe it as intact - even if I keep all the shards with it and, from the picture, that boat looks rather broken (although, I admit, remarkably well preserved).

Okay, pedant mode off. This is an impressive find. I look forward to seeing what else they find on it..."

Source: https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/environment/worlds-oldest-intact-shipwreck-cant-be-that-intact-or-it-wouldnt-have-sunk-20181023178595

GitHub.com freezes up as techies race to fix dead data storage gear

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Cloud based services

"...'The cloud' is once again overrated.

All eggs, in one basket [even a distributed basket] is not necessarily a good idea.

I like github but I don't stake my business on it always being there. A lot can go wrong between my computer and their servers. A lot..."

Worryingly, that's twice in a single month you've to only made sense, but I find myself generally agreeing with you, bob

However, like I've said before on here, just because something is in "the cloud" doesn't and shouldn't absolve the owners of the data/service of their responsibilities. These are usually the same people who wouldn't bat an eyelid if told - correctly - that you wouldn't trust the data/service to a single point of failure they own themselves.

And yet we still see this "throw it over the fence and it's someone else's issue" mentality time and time again.

"Cloud services" can work well. But they are not a panacea and they still require some levels of simple management and accountability.

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: How long before the courts move into the modern world?

Re: Faxes.

I am not sure if this is still true, but for a long time (at least I was lead to believe this), fax was considered a legally-admissible format for a document but other electronic means such as email were not due to the possibility (however small) of being compromised in-flight.

Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...

TonyJ Silver badge

Similar scenario with a line printer

I once worked with a colleague who'd been repeatedly called out to solve issues with a line printer in the 80's.

Said printer was in a an office in a small industrial unit. Most Monday mornings, the platen on the printer would have a nice sheen of condensation, causing the paper to slip.

Despite repeatedly explaining that there was nothing they could do other than allow the condensation to disperse, he was there almost weekly.

Until he explained to the girl there that it was down to the stale electricity from the weekend and they needed to wait an hour or two for it to pass through and have enough energy to drive the printer.

No more calls.

Android creator Andy Rubin's firm might think its phone is Essential, but 30% of staff are not

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Leave the phone at home

I take mine with me but it gets locked in the safe and checked maybe once a day.

But equally, except for the exceptional, I refuse to take work calls in an evening or weekends. Yes, there are and have been exceptions but they just that.

One boss tried to castigate me a few years ago because he couldn't get a hold of me during my holiday and I didn't return his calls (whilst on holiday - he seemed to think I should make myself available). This was in the same conversation he informed me I wasn't up to par because I only worked my contracted hours unless there was an exception, whereas he worked from 07:30 to 23:30 six days a week.

He was most upset when I laughed at him and explained more fool him.

What's the point of living in a connected world if we never connect with it?

Well slap my ass and call me Judy, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 is just as hard to fix as the old one

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: We Need...............

I came here to say exactly this. Look at the state of our oceans and the amount of plastic the ends up in them.

Look at what happens to an awful lot of kit that has supposedly been recycled following the WEEE directive - where it ends up, how little of it actually gets recycled.

And on top of this, I tire of the whole concept that this isn't MY device. It's MY money. I pay to own it - not license it from you for a while.

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Sorry to piss on the still warm grave..

Typical anonymously-posted bile.

There's a time and a place. This may be the latter, but it's hardly the former.

What have YOU contributed?

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Hahaha...

Hmm I was referring more to the spelling differences but that little joke seems to have been lost on everyone.

Oh well. It's Friday and it's time to go home. :)

TonyJ Silver badge


I'd always wondered what our USAnian friends have against people with a love of walking.

Your specialist subject? The bleedin' obvious... Feds warn of RDP woe

TonyJ Silver badge

Hard not to agree...

...that the people/outfits not securing their RDP ports/RDS that are accessible are the same ones for whom this advice has been falling on deaf ears for...well forever.

Even on my home lab, for which I don't expose RDS to the internet, I have a scheduled task that runs at every login - and all it does it fire off a a simple powershell script that emails me to say there's been a login to sever xxx

It's just one more layer that adds peace of mind. And that's a lab environment that although it'd be tedious to rebuild doesn't actually hold any data that is worth anyone accessing.

Linux kernel 'give me root, now' security hole sighted, dubbed 'Mutagen Astronomy'

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Thanks for clarifying.


"...Good job you explained that root is a privileged user, I expect most on this tech site won’t know that.

Please can you get some journalists who understand their reader base..."

Holy shit...small man syndrome?? You sure you're tall enough to play here?

Take the wheel, Arm tells its notebook-grade Cortex-A76 CPU: Now you're a robo-ride brain

TonyJ Silver badge

"Your RND result is false, mine is correct !"

"No... mine !"

I don't know why, but "to you, to me" came to mind there. :)

Can't read my, can't read my... broker face: Premium Credit back online a week after cyber attack

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Not treated as a default ?? Yea right.

"..."Received a letter today giving me 2 days to pay before I get a default and they cancel my policy. Tried ringing - there office is closed due to 'unforseen circumstances', cant pay on line as their website is down so looks like im going to get hit with a default sum and then they will cancel my insurance for non payment..... Great Service"..."

I suspect that the FCA would frown mightily on that. Not to mention the small claims courts.

I had an issue with Alliance & Leicester about 10 years ago -their fault when the refused a payment due to insufficent funds (funds were available but they managed to claim otherwise) when I was working in Brussels. I couldn't take a mobile phone on site due to security and because of the hours I worked, I was unable to call them. Due to travelling they weren't available when I was in the UK.

They refused to deal with the issue over their own secure messaging system as it was (to quote them) not considered internally secure as it relied on email...

When it got to the point that they tried to slap an arbitrary £150 fine and escalated the threats, I complained to the FSA as they were called then.

I must admit I didn't have great hopes, but I was pleasantly surprised.

A&L did push everything out to the very last second, ensuring that they responded on the very last day that they could to everything but in the end the FSA slapped them with a (undisclosed amount to me) fine, ordered them to send a written apology, fix any harm they may have done to my credit rating and compensate me to the tune of £300 with a threat of further fines and compensation if they hadn't done everything required within something like 10 working days.

Microsoft 'kills' passwords, throws up threat manager, APIs Graph Security

TonyJ Silver badge

I hold my hands up and accept that it was my mistake and I should have been clearer in what I was saying.

To clarify I wasn't suggesting that fingerprints are secure - though for most people I suggest that lifting a fingerprint and making a working copy isn't trivial. It's usually simpler to use other means anyway such as threats of violence - I suspect most people would give up a password under that kind of duress.

On top of this, we all know the problem with enforcing silly password policies and what happens to them and how they get written on a post it. Or it becomes the same password + an incrementing number/Shift+number (not to mention how convenient it is to have 12 such keys across the top of the keyboard, below the Fn keys).

All of my elevated accounts have an out-of-band secondary authentication method enabled, be that an RSA token or Google/Microsoft type authenticator. That being MFA.

However, it's also worth pointing out that in the roles I do these days, it's less and less of a requirement to require any kind of elevated access on a day-to-day basis if at all. I generally request such accounts are disabled until and unless I specifically require use of them.

What I was saying is that for most people doing everyday work, fingerprint authentication is sufficient and it's convenient and yes, I am aware that it's not multi factor authentication since it only fulfils the category of something you have not combined with something you know.

I should also have pointed out that even here with the use of fingerprints, we have other layers of security such as BitLocker enabled.

All of which is summarily undone by the culture here of many people walking away and leaving their machines both unguarded (no one else around, necessarily) and unlocked.

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: AD != AD

You used to be able to just buy Azure MFA as a standalone product and integrate an on-premise server.

And then from this: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/pricing/details/multi-factor-authentication/

"...From 1 September 2018, new customers will no longer be able to purchase the stand-alone Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) services. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an important security mechanism and will continue to be available in Azure Active Directory. ..."

Nice one, Microsoft. Not.

TonyJ Silver badge

"...Physical possession of the device counts as a Factor, hence it's MFA in my opinion. .."

Yup. Something you know combined with something you have.

You're also right about the audience here at El Reg. I think sometimes (quite often) people forget that outside of places such as this forum, the vast majority of users are less technical, less cynical and just want a) and easier life and b) to be able to do their jobs

All the new laptops being rolled out here have fingerprint login (to the domain) enabled. Most users quite like that. These are the same users who are used to unlocking their phones with a fingerprint, a PIN etc. so it's not a stretch for them to adopt this to log onto their work network.

MI5: Gosh, awkward. We looked down the sofa and, yeah, we *do* have intel on privacy bods

TonyJ Silver badge

Let's not forget though that this is also an organisation that had full knowledge of various suspects that have gone on to commit acts of terror but failed to act on them sufficiently or at all.

It's less about catching the bad guys and more about controlling the masses and protecting the incumbent governments.

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

TonyJ Silver badge

Appreciate if's SfB but to echo others, I see the same. Messages that say not delivered that are then replied to; attachments / screenshots not being set etc.

But for me, the biggest one (I've mentioned it before on here) is not being able to add more than one account.

FFS MS...I've been able to do it with Outlook for years, so why not SfB?

Windows Admin Center gets an update, just in time for Server 2019

TonyJ Silver badge

"...Microsoft discovers webmin..."

Quite. But also Microsoft discovers that not every smaller company have the funds, resources or skills for the behemoth that is SCCM.

In a race to 5G, Trump has stuck a ball-and-chain on America's leg

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: I don’t understand…

"...…I thought he said that trade wars are easy to win? He didn’t say which side for, of course. Presumably, if you’re on the wrong side, then they’re easy to lose too. Which would mean that trade wars are hard to win, from one perspective. But if both sides are trying to win then maybe it’s easy for both sides to lose and…

…my brain hurts..."

You're making it far to complicated.

Look: "Winning!"

Fixed it. I mean, that's all it takes, surely? Easy!

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Experts

"...Still, at least it's not vaccines or Brexit..."

You forgot chemtrails...

Edit: Oh and the Earth is flat! Forgot that one, too.

No, the Mirai botnet masters aren't going to jail. Why? 'Cos they help Feds nab cyber-crims

TonyJ Silver badge

Not a new technique...

...is it, really? The old poacher-turned-gamekeeper routine.

Also, I'd suggest they're doing for more good than having years of their lives wasted in jail.

Rehabilitation |= Revenge. Unusual to see this in the eyes of the US legal system.

Vodafone sues Ofcom to reclaim 'overpaid' mobe spectrum fees

TonyJ Silver badge

So that means...

...lower mobile phone bills?


The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

TonyJ Silver badge

Fascinating read

Thank you, El Reg.

And of course, hats off and thank you to all of the team concerned in the endeavour!


Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: For fucks sake

"...Next - let's make sure that kernel code is following some visual basic coding standard to make it more accessible, draw up the mandatory female, trans and other queers quota in the commits history, ensure that community is friendly with other major ecosystem competitors and do not ignore attempts by respected community members like Oracle and Microsoft to add their compatibility layers and APIs for the benefit of the ecosystem...

What a drivel. Linus has joined the loonie bin :(..."

What a charming individual you aren't.

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: The other way round Being yelled at for Lotus Domino

"...I checked and found it went through the gateway to Lotus Domino fine. I then opened up the mail tracking NSF for Domino 7, the email had been deleted around 10 minutes after being delivered..."

I've had similar so many times. My favourites being when the managers/directors weren't checking their junk folders and lo' and behold' there they are.

Veeam holds its hands up, admits database leak was plain 'complacency'

TonyJ Silver badge

Like the open and seemingly honest approaches - first, they clearly took seriously, and listened to, the guy who reported the problem and took swift action. Secondly they have put up their hands and admitted it was simple human error.

Never great it happens but... Kudos for the way they've responded.

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

TonyJ Silver badge

Oh Dabbsy...your column (oo-err missus!) is the highlight of my Friday but this one was beyond excellent and had me in tears - both in the empathetic way that all of us blokes share upon seeing or hearing about fellow man taking a whack the sack, but also with laughter.


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