* Posts by Keith 12

40 posts • joined 6 Nov 2011

Server at web host 1&1 Ionos decides to take unscheduled day off, sinks a bunch of sites

Keith 12

Sh*t Happens..

Hosted 100's of Domains and associated e-mail addresses on 2 Servers with 1and1 for over 20 years - exceptional reliability and service received.

Never lost a Site and over that period I doubt if we have seen more than 4 hours (total) e-mail downtime.

On the rare occasion that I have required assistance I have found their support services to be easily contactable very helpful and highly efficient.

Based on the above, I'm often bemused by stories I've read over the years as regards 1and1 crap service.

Hey, US taxpayers. Filed your taxes? Good, good. $500m of it is going on an Intel-Cray exascale boffinry supercomputer

Keith 12

Re: Do the US already have an Exascale Super?

My thoughts exactly...

Keith 12

Do the US already have an Exascale Super?

Mentioned more than once: "The super will be Uncle Sam's first publicly known exascale computer" - c'mon Chris - tell us more.

I can see that various US agencies have placed various contracts over the last 6 years or so - do the US already (probably) have an Exascale Super as your cryptic comment(s) suggests?

Kwik-Fit hit by MOT fail, that's Malware On Target

Keith 12

They deserve everything they get. I've not used them for 15+ years.

My final experience with this company - a couple of weeks after having a new complete exhaust system fitted I noticed a slight rattling noise and, taking a look underneath, I could see that one of the nut and screws holding the rear exhaust section was slightly loose.

As their depot was fairly close, and, being a lazy git, I took the car in a few days later, explained to the manager at reception the issue and showed him my invoice from a few weeks before. (In typical fashion, and in the same way as had been done in previous visits, he apparently passed none of this information to the fitter.)

Waiting in the reception area, during which a lady customer explained that she was in the middle of some legal issues with the company, they had apparently damaged the manifold when fitting a new exhaust and this was her third visit to get it fixed properly, I received the dreaded "come over here" signal from the fitter, who pointed to various faults with the (brand new) exhaust setup, none of which I could see as an issue, and was suprised to be told that I needed a complete new exhaust system...

I gave him the go ahead for that, and, on being presented with an invoice again showed my original invoice to the manager and confirmed to him that I assumed that they had fitted a faulty system previously. After a short "debate" he agreed.

(I should have known better. Some months earlier a friend had had 2 new front tyres fitted by the same depot. On leaving, and a few hundred yards away, one of the wheels fell off causing various damage to his vehicle.The company refused to accept any responsibility and basically told him to take a hike. Only by his insisting to wait for an area manager, who to his credit accepted full responsibilty and paid for all damage to be fixed, did he obtain any form of redress.)

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

Keith 12

WTF are you doing in my .....

As a co-owner of an IT services / repair outfit many years ago, we received a very strange call, so odd that the member of staff who initially took the call asked one of the partners to take it.

I found myself speaking to a highly distressed Lady who sounded at the very end of her tether. Despite requesting more information on the problem over a period of some minutes, even confirming that she did in fact require some form of IT support, and not an Ambulance or the Police, I was unable to ascertain what the problem actually was - she was highly agitated, extremely emotional and basically begging someone to visit.

So disturbed by the call in fact were we all that both partners decided to visit along with a young technician.

On reaching the address we were met by a middle-aged lady who looked worn out and very stressed.

Entering the property and looking down the hallway, and I still remember it to this day, I noticed that all of the doors to the rooms off the hallway were closed and she pointed to the closed door at the very end, and moved behind us, with, unfortunately, myself in front.

I also remember, and I know this may sound ridiculous, but so charged was the atmosphere, thinking that this was some kind of setup and began to frantically run through any and all previous work that we had carried out locally to question if any of the jobs involved might be about to result in some sort of payback…

It didn’t help that, as I neared the door I couldn’t not but notice that the Lady involved was now stood well away from the 3 of us in expectation of a forthcoming traumatic event…

I knocked the door and there was no answer, I turned and looked at my colleagues, raised my eyebrows, knocked once more and opened the door…

And was met with what I can only describe as a hellish volume of sound comprising of what appeared to be cats screaming, brake pads binding etc, at such a high level that it was physically painful.

An elderly guy sitting at the desk, and busy at his PC, angrily looked over, gave me a questioning stare as if to ask who the hell we were and WTF are you doing in my Lounge?

Any sort of verbal reply from me rendered impossible due to the noise level, at this point, fortunately, the Lady herself entered the room and there ensued a somewhat fraught marital confrontation, mainly using a basic sign language during which it became obvious that the guy himself was completely deaf and did not accept that there was any form of problem with his PC

As I tried to calm the situation down a little and attempted to confirm the Wife’s complaint to him about the noise, though he was having none of it, but managed to coax him away from his desk, my business partner unscrewed and edged the cover off the side of the PC to note it was the rear case fan that was responsible.

Realising that we had not bought a replacement fan we decided to remove a fan from a PC that we did have with us, and, a few minutes later, after a trip to the car, and a quick reboot, domestic bliss was restored.

Turns out the problem had existed for some months.

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

Keith 12

Thank You Esme - very well said.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

Keith 12

Re: Home security problem

"Worry more then about your smart water meter. Do you know anyone who doesn't flush a bog within an hour of falling out of bed in the morning?."

I'd be a bit concerned if i saw someone lying face down, for an hour, at the beginning of our driveway with his head looking down the 5 feet or so distance to the meter waiting for the crapper to flush....

Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines

Keith 12

A superb 2017 Cali Cabernet Sauvignon..

This really is a superb 2017 Cali Cabernet Sauvignon, with its aromas of rich dark currants, nectarine skins, gushing blackberry, but lots of fragrant tobacco, rich soil, white flowers, smashed minerals and metal. Medium-bodied and saucy but racy acidity stabilises the wine nicely – it’s definitely from the north facing vineyard; a piquant of 137 and it glows in the dark…

TalkTalk starts offering punters choice to shift-shift to O2

Keith 12

No Complaints here

We have had TT 80/20 Fibre since it became available quite some years ago and I have to say the service has been impeccable.

Their support helpline is awful and my sincere commiserations for the punter that needs to use that service. Their DNS Servers often have issues but, again, the savvy user has already configured a different secondary service - why they don't set that up, or suggest it, as standard practice is beyond me.

Their online support Forum is absolutely superb, fast response and they do what they say they will do.

I have to say though for such a large Company you would expect that information as to changes in their services would be easy to understand and fully transparent - the Wife just received notification as to changes in Mobile service, from the e-mail it's impossible to say whether the move is an option, in that TT will continue to offer a Mobile service as well, or, as The Reg. points out - the ONLY option is to move to either their suggested or another third party provider. Reading this article has saved me the trouble of putting a question to the TT Forum - Thank You.

One final point - TT is the ONLY household services provider who, when asked not to ring us with the latest offers actually stopped calling us...

What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave

Keith 12

As I said to each of my 3 Sons:

Do your best

Act as if you believe the bs

Remember always - be loyal to youself:

“This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Kaspersky Lab's move from Russia to Switzerland fails to save it from Dutch oven

Keith 12

I’ll stick with Kaspersky thanks.

After many years’ experience, (and we do/have tested alternatives on a regular basis), with innumerable installations it’s still the best IMHO.

As mentioned in previous posts regarding Kaspersky, I think I’d rather have Kaspersky taking a look (nothing to see here frankly) at the occasional file than any of the alternative, mainly US, offerings.

As an aside, If I hear on the radio, just one more time, about all the horrid things that Kaspersky in particular and the Russkies in general are doing to hack into our PC’s, totally ignoring the Snowden revelations, my friggin head will explode… wake up – we no longer believe ANYTHING we hear on the BBC.

Fancy a viaduct? We have a wrought Victorian iron marvel to sell you

Keith 12

Facinating, informative and particularly well written article - Thank You..

Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

Keith 12

In my humble opinion this is the paragraph of the week:

"I'd rather be spied upon by foreigners, who have little interest in what I'm doing, than by a domestic government, who has all kinds of legal and illegal powers to do things against me. And this is probably true for most other people too."

Says much about the state of the UK nowadays...

I'll stick with Kaspersky.

Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Keith 12

Never a better time...

From recent Microsoft comments regarding the (bleak) future of Desktop Outlook, and MS Desktop office applications in general, combined with continued MS efforts to get everyone on Office365 webmail for a monthly fee I just can't fathom why anyone would not be investing more $ in TB - this is the very best opportunity to make TB a mainstream E-Mail client.....

The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer

Keith 12

It's cash in the till....

Assuming it's the same situation as when I was involved some years ago. If an organisation is big enough, and has storage to cope, to buy at wholesale prices from a Chritmas product supplier - decorations etc, then the supplier will deliver in, say, April and there is no requirement to pay for the goods till December / January following. The manufacturer is happy as they can clear their warehouse and it puts less pressure on them to send out all the orders out in one go, as would happen if they insisted on end of month following delivery for payment. Naturally enough, the retailer(s), whose own warehouse is stuffed to the gunnels with "free" stock is happy to recoup as many sales as early as possible before payment is due and floods the shelves with stock well before the actual "season" starts.

Lester Haines: RIP

Keith 12

Gods' speed Lester

Always interesting and informative - we loved him.

Humblest to Lester's Family and Friends - we will miss him - a wonderful guy.

RIP Lester

Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

Keith 12

TT being the ISP that everybody seems to hate

TT being the ISP that everybody seems to hate. I've had lots of calls from customers who "get the call", from the guy with a strange accent offering to fix your PC, BT customers more often than not.

Fairly easy to identify customers with a TT ip and / or Teamviewer installed - have to question how they knew the password to logon with though, and why it was left installed in the first place?

6 years at home with TT, 80/20 Fibre for some years which in reality equates to 84/17 with less than 1 days outage over that period and a very happy customer.

TT network issues? - try taking a look at BT service status sometime...

Yup, I hate BT, nope, I don't work for TT.

Downvotes ahoy! - like a give a sh*t...

British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

Keith 12

I'm reminded of this advice...

Whilst I think this is a very good idea and if any force / officer has a problem with it then we should ask "what have you got to hide", we do need to ensure that we don't get regular "malfunctions" as seems to be the case with CCTV.

> access to a solicitor & legal advice? How would that be maintained on the street?

I'm reminded of this advice:

http://www.kirkpiccione.com/10-reasons-not-talk-police/

Investigatory Powers Bill lands in Parliament amid howls over breadth of spying powers

Keith 12

“call for greater clarity”

“call for greater clarity” - let's hope it's better than the existing legislation then but I won't be holding my breath. Some years ago our Hosting Server provider informed us that they had received and acted on a RIPA request for E-Mail information for a customer of ours who's Domain we host. Unsure as to whether or not there was a legal requirement for us to inform, in turn, our customer, or not, we contacted the relevant GOV UK department who were unable / refused to confirm what our position was. They forwarded to us 3 HUGE .pdf files, filled with legal jargon which would have taken a Barrister a year to wade through with the instruction - "it's all in there" We informed the client anyway and were subsequently informed, by the same GOV UK office, that we had broken the law. Yet, from what little I have read of the new legislation I did notice that "it will be illegal to inform someone that a RIPA request has been made against them", or similar, which suggests that it's not actually illegal at the moment.

Years ago, most laws appeared to pretty black and white to most of us. Of late they seem to take the view that "they will decide", under existing legislation, if in fact you have broken the law or not.

I'm reminded of the saying attributed to Cardinal Richelieu:"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

I wouldn't trust these f***s an far as I could throw them.

How to build a starship - and why we should start thinking about it now

Keith 12

Asteroid mining will make this happen, Ridley Scott (Alien) got there before us.

How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

Keith 12

Excellent article - thank you.

Lights out! Newbie IT manager's dark basement trip

Keith 12

Re: Ah Diesel Generators

Sounds like somewhere near the Kent coast I herad about many years ago...

Cache-astrophic: Why Valve's Steam store spewed players' private profiles to strangers

Keith 12

Re: Good idea.

As someone who has always liked to see the 3.5" Floppies / CD / DVD etc on the shelf should I need to reinstall a game it took me awhile to get used to the idea of never actually "owning" the media as such - I would even accept that this choice included additionally installing various updates / patches and resetiing Video / Sound / Mouse / KB settings again. Some years ago I started to purchase stuff from Steam online, and, frankly its frigging wonderful (though you do of course need a decent connection speed). Install Steam front-end, login, choose titles from games library, have dinner while it downloads, installs updates, configures all my game settings - finish dinner and here we go... It maxes out my TalkTalk 80Mb to 84Mb on each and every occasion.

I understand that Windows 10 offers a similar experience - ahh well, back to the manual installs and updates for the O/S then.. and it won't be Windows 10

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Keith 12

No, said Fred - do I look like bloody Assange?

Keith 12

GCHQ tests it's new Citizen surveillance hardware...

Keith 12

"They said I couldn't get a 4K Webcam running on Windows 3.1"

How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both

Keith 12

Off-topic - but...

It's off topic but it's been bothering me for a while and I've yet to see it addressed anywhere. Comments appreciated.

If, as is well reported, Windows 10 is effectively keylogging typed data, which Microsoft, ahem, assures us is not attributable to a particular user. What happens if the typed data itself contains confidential information of a criminal/medical/private nature and includes names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. Does this not mean that most state/governmental/council etc. organisations should be looking for an alternative to Windows 10?

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Keith 12

My 2 cents:

386-16 o/c to 386-20 (with faster ram)

486-sx33 to 486-sx40

A few more in-between - all Intel

Q6600 to 3.0ghz+

i5 2500k to 4.3ghz

All on-air o/c from day one and totally stable.

My current i5 still does everything I want to do, and more, and it will be awhile before I upgrade it.

There was a time when an upgrade meant just a faster CPU, possibly more ram and a regular display card purchase.. As those days have gone and it now requires new CPU+MB+RAM and the inevitable display card, like many of my fellow gamers, my upgrades just don't happen as often - overclocking helps me hold on to the old stuff a lot longer.

Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Keith 12

My 2 cents worth:

Let’s recall Office ’97: Free with a new PC with most of the Office suite included…

Microsoft have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by giving away Windows 10 – even as a temporary upgrade to pirated versions. (MS are fully aware of how easy it is to obtain & install a pirated version of 7 or 8)

Most pukka users with Win 7 & 8 will be looking to obtain a “free” copy of 10 when they buy their next PC – which could be years away (and no income for MS in the meantime - look at how many XP PC’s are still around).

As MS sees it the sooner (and the more the merrier) MS can get everyone on 10 the faster they can introduce and enjoy some form of payment from it.

Everyone and his Uncle wants a pound of flesh every month nowadays: Amazon, Adobe, Netflix, Mobile contracts, Sky, et al – it’s the not so new business model.

Personally, I see this as THE opportunity for Linux to really go mainstream – IF they can get their act together to persuade Joe Public it’s a real and easy to use alternative. (That’s not MY opinion of Linux by the way, it’s an opinion shared by many end users of MS Desktops)

It will be a small window of opportunity though – the Mobile generation, already indoctrinated into paying monthly for everything, won’t have any issues with paying for 10 on the same basis.

I’ve run up a Virtual of 10, based on that, and many articles I’ve read since, I won’t be upgrading anytime soon.

Playing by stealth: Twelve gaming headsets to plonk on your noggin

Keith 12

I've had a pair of Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Analog 'Phones for about 6 months now, it's not the model featured here - I got mine for around £50.

I really can't justify spending much more on a set of 'phones, I do have a Creative 5.1 speaker system on the same machine connected to a Xonar DX card

.

I have had genuine 5.1 'phones previously but I must say the Kave 5.1 gives superb directional and quality sound (gaming and music) and appear to be very well made. I do tend to chuck 'em around a bit and they are still in one piece. I'm also told that the (positional - ear to chin) Mic gives a good quality sound. Two drawbacks in my experience: can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods, it really needs a solid piece of foam to replace the 3 pads that sit on your head. Also the cable, whilst a decent length, is of the type that tends to bunch together in a knot and you do need to unwind it after a while. Apart from that I'm very pleased and would fully recommend them for the price.

SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not

Keith 12

They don't really have any other choice ...

An immediate 10% drop in share price with the revelations didn't leave the company with any other choice but to deny the keys were compromised.

2 billion SIM cards annual production - let's have a class action as regards our privacy say various action groups, I want a new one free of charge, I want my money back etc etc - a total nightmare for the company concerned. We all know that the T&C's will prevent any of this happening but the media attention alone ...

It's the same old I'm afraid: CPU / Motherboard / Drives (add your product or service here) - there is absolutely no problem with our product / service says the supplier (ISP's used to be really good at this) - until it turns there WAS a problem but its now fixed.

Just today, a large Hosting provider notes there is an "unknown" e-mail issue in their service update page - nah, it's not "unknown" at all - at least one of your Mail Servers is currently blacklisted ...

Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

Keith 12

Good Article

Well researched, well written and fascinating article - Thank You.

Enormo reseller Insight smacked by software licensing slide

Keith 12

Dealt with them on and off for years. Generally, as soon as you found a rep that you can do business with, and we knew some good ones over the years, he buggers off, almost always it seemed there was acrimony.

Generally very expensive to deal with and nothing like the technical expertise which such prices suggest if you need assistance. The shipping costs were usually way out of kilter with their competitors.

On the Licensing side, finding someone who can actually confirm details & prices seems well nigh impossible.

Has always struck us as the "BT" of commercial IT: to many staff, many of whom refuse to take responsibility for anything.

On one occasion, and as a test before we stooped dealing with them completely, we compared an e-mailed quotation from a senior rep., having dealt them over 10 years at that point, with prices we obtained, on the 'phone through the main sales desk as a new prospective customer, literally with a girl on the switchboard - we were offered better prices as the new customer.

For years beforehand we had pointed out to them why they had lost our business as they were too expensive - says it all really.

NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

Keith 12
Thumb Up

Damn fine article.

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Keith 12

A very well thought out list, with the exception, in my opinion, and noted by some, of Zardoz and to my mind Solaris. Twelve Monkeys comes to mind but I'd have to give some real thought for the 10th.

Do you work in IT at RBS? Or at the next place to get hit ...?

Keith 12

Probably.....

Probably one of the best articles I've read at The Reg.

It's simple stuff really - but we've all seen so many people get it wrong on their way down the pan.....

TalkTalk loses 43,000 customers, chunk o' revenue in Q3

Keith 12

Just about to finish an 18 month contract with Talk Talk. (Fibre cabinets just installed 25 metres away but NOT impressed with the 2mb max. up speed on offer, mulling a decision to move to BT for the 10mb up) At 6km from the exchange we get around 4mb down and 950k+ up. Online gaming pings are frequently around the 30 - 40 mark. Approx 2 hours downtime in 2 incidents of about 1 hour each over the last 18 months.On initial activation, Forum requests concerning poor gaming pings were answered and fixed within 24 hours.

Was very wary about moving to Talk Talk - I have to say I remain very impressed.

Plastic semiconductor makes solar cells more efficient

Keith 12
FAIL

Wake up - deal with it ffs!

Richard12 "They're getting that much *entirely* due to the domestic subsidy of 45.5p/kWh total."

Yes, thats right, that's the world your living in, - I responded to the comment regarding a 25 + year payback, based on the above thats rubbish. Your diatribe completely fails to refute my comment.

Wake up and smell the coffee before its too late............

Keith 12

25 years?

A friend of mine, just a few houses away, had installed a 3kw installation for £8500 and is bringing in £1400 a year, though of course the FIT has been reduced by over 50%, and we do live on the S.E. Coast, that's still a lot less than 25 years.....

Ten... Blu-ray disc players

Keith 12
Thumb Down

Nope

Nope, just not sold on the devices reviewed. - !8 months after buying a well hammered cheapo £60 F & H Blu-Ray Player, sure, I would like Youtube, but, USB support, multi-region, DVD upscaling and plays every .avi thrown at it goes some way to keeping me happy.

I am reminded of a Radio 4 programme a few years ago,broadcast from a well know hi-fi store chain based in Kent which was about to compare a very expensive DVD player from a well known brand, which I rather like, and have often purchased, to a bargain basement player, when the demonstration was suddenly cancelled, I forget the excuse given, but it says it all really......

Mr P. suddenly got the jitters.

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