* Posts by Sequin

71 posts • joined 20 Dec 2011


Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence


How long before he tries the "I'm autistic and I'll top myself if I get thrown in the slammer" defence?


Re: Isn't that part of what it means to be British?

Much as I would love him to f*** off to the good ole US of A, he renounced his American citizenship a couple of years ago as he didn't like having to pay US income tax on all of his earnings (US law says that any citizen's income, wherever earnt, is subject to US taxes)

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s


After a user spilled a drink into his keyboard and finding that they didn't have a spare on site, it took the disassembled keyboard in to the staff toilets and ran it under the taps to remove the sticky residue that was jamming various keys. After drying the circuit board using toilet paper, I tried to dry the keys using the hot air hand dryer. Unfortunately, the thermostat in the drier was set to a ridiculously high temperature and this caused the keys to become malleable and the airflow caused them to deform, so that when it cooled down everything plastic was jammed solid!

To cover up my shame I had to make a trip to the nearest Maplins and buy another keyboard!

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?


A colleague once asked the boss of the department we were writing a package for what the system should do if the user tried to do a particular thing they were not authorised to do. "it should tell them to bugger off" was the reply. My colleague took this literally and was the subject of an official complaint a few weeks later when the system displayed that exact message!


I once had a user, who was a senior electrical engineer, ask me to change the system because when it displayed "Press a key to continue" he had to search the keyboard for the "A" key - "I'm not a typist" he said.

I changed the prompt to "Press any key to continue", but luckily he never asked me where the "any" key was.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame


Re: Access Denied

I subscribe to a weekly email quiz, and the creator numbers them in Roman numerals. Whenever he sends out a mail with the number 30 in it (e.g. 130, 330 etc) he has to change to Arabic numerals as so many email filters will reject mails with XXX in the subject line.


I once got access to the proxy at a tourist place I worked and the boss looked at the logs and discovered that a couple of users had been accessing a site called "Rubbermaid" - very kinky! A warning email was sent out which caused much hilarity when it was pointed out that http://www.rubbermaid.com/ is totally SFW and they are suppliers of cleaning equipment, bins, mats etc.

Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy


I once asked my Chemistry teacher at school the value of a particular constant to be used in an equation. His response - "It varies"

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work


At the stores of a large government department where we were installing a stock control system, they built a server room for the minicomputer by installing some partition walls. What they hadn't realized was that the main soil pipe for the upstairs toilets ran through the false ceiling directly above the new hardware.

A couple of weeks later we got a call to say that the system had gone down and we got to learn what happens when the shit literally hits the fans!

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


I once got an emergency call from our Mainframe Computing centre to say that the system they used for processing Prison Officer's overtime payments and gone haywire and I needed to get there NOW to fix it, or the POs would work to rule and this could lead to prison riot!

The system ran on an old CCP/M machine which each prison connected to over a dial-up link and transferred their data, which was then uploaded in to the mainframe to feed through to the payroll system.

I asked what was wrong with it, to be told that the on screen menus had all disappeared and they couldn't use it.

I jumped into a taxi to take me the 5 miles to the data centre, then waited for about 15 minutes to get let in. I then walked over to the machine, which had an old green-screen monitor, inspected it closely for about 30 seconds, turned up the contrast on the monitor and walked back out.

Someone had cleaned the machine, using wiped on the keyboard and monitor, and had managed to turn the rotary contrast knob right down, meaning thet the menu text and background merged in to each other.

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes


Legal typists

At a previous employer I was asked to visit a solicitors' office to install and set up about 10 new PCs, for both the solicitors and their secretary/typists. I was employed as a developer, but our infrastructure team was so short handed I was regularly called upon to do hardware and software installs for them.

The solicitors got their PC's first, and I installed various software packages, connected to the domain for the, set up local printers etc.

I then got to do the others for the support staff and after setting up the first one I hit a problem. The solicitors used a software based dictation system that saved their musings to files on the server. The typists then used the software to play back the dictation while they typed the letters that would eventually cost their clients hundreds of pounds in solicitors fees! In a similar way to old analogue dictation machines, the secretaries had foot switches they could use to pause the playback as they were typing, to allow themselves to catch up. Unfortunately the foot switches plugged into a serial port, but the new PC's had only USB ports. The software could only handle serial devices too.

This necessitated a trip to the local Maplin's electronics store, where I cleared out their stock of USB to serial converters.

Ticketmaster gatecrash: Gig revelers' personal, payment info glimpsed by support site malware


I got the email a few days ago and today my bank phoned me to say that someone had tried to use my debit card details on a US site and they had flagged it as dodgy. I now have to wait until after the weekend for a new card, and will have to try to get some cash out of one of the few remaining physical branches tomorrow.

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space


Re: I am a specialist.

No - it's Carbon dibaxide

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything


I was working for the Home Office in the UK and had to pay a visit to Whitemoor Prison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Prison_Whitemoor) to fix a computer system. Whitemoor is the high security prison that is usually the home of terrorists - both Irish and International.

To get into the office block I had to go through a security screening room - x-ray machines, hand held body scanners, pat-down, the lot. I had a very small penknife in my pocket (about a 2 inch blade) and this was confiscated and returned later.

When I got into the office I realized that my briefcase, which had gone through the x-ray, contained a zip up case with office essentials - pens, pencils, stapler etc. It also contained a Stanley knife (box-cutter), a pair of scissors and a pencil sharpener with two blades. How good was that security check?


Re: Made it here first!

So you'd be quite happy for people like this to be on the road?


Hypos while driving are equivalent to drunk driving, but hey, lets all get pissed and take a road trip!


Re: Made it here first!

In the UK If you are an insulin using diabetic (like me) and you have a hypoglycemic attack while driving, you can be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs and lose your licence. You are supposed to check your blood sugar level before you start a journey, and at least every two hours during a journey.


I was once working at a college, creating management reports, when I felt a sudden urge to use the toilet. I ran down the corridor, hurried in to the cubicle, sat down and relieved myself.

As I was leaving the toilet, a police officer came in with a drug sniffing dog. I can guarantee that the dog would never have worked again after that!

MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo


What about the time they released the Critical Update Notification Tool?

Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century


I worked on an old database system for the Home Office (UK Gov Department) that ran on an OS called BOS - It could not handle dates natively, so all date fields were actually character fields and the users had to enter date in YYYYMMDD HHMMSS format for them to work correctly in the daily reports that they had to produce for ministers. Most of the support on the system was fixing dates that had been entered incorrectly as there was no validation on input.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage


Re: Let's go with PETA...

In the original book (Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison) Soylent was a mix of soya and lentils (hence the name) - only in the film was it made of people!


I once worked at an aquarium in the north of England and PETA kicked off a campaign to try to stop us selling fish and chips in the restaurant - apparently the fish in the aquarium could see their cousins being consumed!

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park


A colleague caused the evacuation of a 17 storey office block when her toast got jammed. Luckily it was a sunny day and it was nice to stand out in the car park for an hour.

The toaster was immediately removed and a ban was imposed on these and similar appliances.

Stephen Hawking dies, aged 76


He wasn't afraid of the dark

"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years, I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.

There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Electronic voting box makers want kit stripped from eBay – and out of hackers' hands


"You'd think you could only buy these if you had a government ID and wee in the state of Michigan," Hursti said. "But no, anyone can buy these."

God - these rules are getting more restrictive every day! All you allowed to shit in any state?

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'


Not the brightest.....

I once had to jump in a taxi to the datacentre because the operators were trying to run a system that dialled in to prisons to download prison officers' overtime claims for pushing through the payroll system. "If they don't get their overtime, they'll go on work to rule and there'll be prison riots!" I was told. I asked what the problem with the system was and was told "all of the menus have disappeared".

After a 30 minute taxi trip, clutching manuals and back up disks I eventually got through security into the computer suite. I examined the system (an old CCP/M system with a green screen monitor), turned up the brightness and walked out.

Somebody had cleaned the screen with alcohol wipes, and in the process managed to turn the rotary brightness knob right dow, so only highlighted text could be seen.

Kiwi prankster 'oinks' down cops' radio and sings Old MacDonald


It's been done before

They've nicked this idea from the classic film The Lavender Hill Mob!

'No decision' on Raytheon GPS landing system aboard Brit aircraft carriers


Sister ship?

Surely the Queen Elizabeth must be the Prince of Wales' mother ship, not sister ship? (Don't call me Shirley!)

When corporate signage goes BAD



It was said of the old BT logo (http://logos.wikia.com/wiki/BT) that if you rotated it you got the usual course of an issue with them - a balls up, followed by a small cock-up, finally leading to an enormous cock-up!


I've seen a hospital sign sying "Family Planning - Use rear Entrance" but I'm not sure if it's real or photoshopped.

I can confirm from personally having seen it that there used to be a road sign in Liverpool which said "Liverpool Maternity Hospital - Non Accident Cases Only"


Best ever has to be the time that Thwaites brewery in Lancashire announced redundancies:


CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers


Microbot Push? Homer got there first


'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'



I once wrote a system to capture the stock catalogue of an electronics workshop prior to the whole inventory system being computerised. Stock items varied from screws of 1mm in length to radio masts that were 200m tall.

I got a call from the chief engineer one day to say that the system was very restrictive and he was an engineer not a typist. "Why do I have to spend time trying to find the A key on the keyboard?".

To fix his problem I changed the message from "Press a key to continue" to "Press any key to continue".

Redback sinks fangs into Aussie's todger AGAIN... second time in five months


Can you take away the pain but leave the swelling Doc?

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?


An absolute travesty! No tea needs milk, and teabags should only be used in emergency when the tea leaves have run out! But then, anyone who lets the leaves run out should be hung by their knackers until they learn their lesson.

Making anything in a coffee pot is an abomination, as they retain the taste of the noxious liquid that is nowt but the devil's diarrhoea!

When Capita job ads go BAD


The job has now been removed from LinkedIn, but a search on "Hertfordshite" shows that it's a common fat-finger error

Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank


Not so stupid

I assume they were trying to avoid setting off infrared sensors by shielding their body heat, though a sheet of glass would have worked better:


Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone


You think tobacco is bad?

I used to work for a large government department in a tower block in northern England. The building, while under construction, had been involved in one of the longest running industrial disputes in British history. The shell of the building had been put up, and ventilation ducts installed, but no windows, doors or anything else had been fitted before the building unions walked out and picketed the site for nearly five years!

In the meantime, the local feral cat population found themselves a new home and multiplied their numbers as cats do. When the dispute finished, the construction company found it too difficult to clear them out so pumped the building full of poison gas and later removed what corpses they could find. Of course many were left in that darker recesses of the ductwork and these mummified and eventually started to crumble.

We used to come in every day to find a layer of greyish dust over our desks, and the PC's needed regular de-catting.


A neighbour once asked me to take a look at her laptop which was shutting down unexpectedly. A test showed that when it shut down it was literally too hot to put on your lap, and the system was protecting itself by pulling the plug.

A quick dismantle showed that the holes in the mesh covering the air intake were down to about 20% of their original size, with the rest being blocked by tar and nicotine deposits. Two minutes with a stiff paintbrush cured the problem.

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!


No probs with Windows 10

U upgraded my netbook (Medion Akoya E1222) to 10 before Christmas and have had no problems. I upgraded it from XP to 7 Home edition about two years ago and doubled the RAM from 1 to 2 gigs at the same time. I suspect it might struggle with the original amount of RAM.

What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?


Re: Nothing wrong with Access

I worked at a company that used an Access front end to a MSSQL backend for an order processing system.

Every couple of months the system was required to create about 5 million records in one table with sequential serial numbers for gift vouchers - an identity column was no use as there were four series of serials, for different denominations of vouchers.

The guy who created the system did this using loops in access - get the next serial number, create a record, add one to the serial number and repeat until the correct number of records had been created, then do the same again for each of the other three denominations.

This routine usually tool at least 12 hours to run, so was left to run overnight. Often it failed part way through. I replaced it with a SQL stored procedure that used a tally table (http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/T-SQL/67899/) - the new routine ran in 15 minutes


Re: Nothing wrong with Access

I always says it's not the tool that's used, it's the tool that uses it that is the likely problem.

UK govt right to outsource everything 15 years ago – civil service boss


I was one of the civil service IT staff sold off to outside suppliers 15 years ago. We had been told for years by managers how poor we were compared to the lean and keen private sector, and how much time and money would be saved by selling us off. I didn't take redundancy at the time as I was newly married with a kid on the way and I thought that they might be telling us the truth.

After a couple of months working for the private sector (Sema Group) I realised that we were just as good, and in many cases considerably better than our private sector equivalents. Most of us also had pride in providing a public service, something that was lost when we were sold off.

Aroused Lycra-clad cyclist prompts Manchester cop dragnet


... but he was NAKED under the Lycra!

El Reg picked a pack of ace pic-titlers


Teledildonics finally reaches the consumer market.

Viper sinks fangs into unwary Indian farmer's todger


The victim asked the doctors if they could take away the pain, but leave the swelling

'A word processor so simple my PA could use it': Joyce turns 30


One of the best peripherals available was a scanner - you took the ribbon out of the printer and clipped the scanner sensor on to the print head. The document to be scanned got fed in to the printer and the programme drove the printer mechanism to scan the document line by line - a brilliant idea!

I also had the RS232 interface and used a 75/1200 modem to access bulletin boards - who needed the internet?

Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?


I hate the euphemism "passing" when used in connection with death. You have died, croaked, ceased to be etc - you have passed nothing!

Toyota to launch hydrogen (ie, NATURAL GAS) powered fuel cell hybrid


"NATURAL GAS" is a description usually ascribed to Methane, not hydrogen.

If you are referring to Hydrogen as "a natural gas", the same description applies to Hydrogen Cyanide and Radon

Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen


Re: It's *got* a big engine.

You don't need wings to fly - if you push something fast enough. Big as the panzer's engine might be, I don't think it's big enough to get it up to liftoff speed. Wings would help, and they could try what Hannibal Smith and the A Team did in the (awful) movie - firing the big gun for a bit of Newtonian action/reaction



Flying Heritage museum? It'll take a big engine to get a Panzer off the ground!


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