* Posts by hopkinse

113 posts • joined 20 Feb 2012

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Japanese airline ANA spins out telepresence-bot startup for virus-avoiding medicos and fearful tourists

hopkinse

Re: As is usual Scott Adams has already been there ....

I'm just wondering what colour t-shirt to put on mine... https://images.app.goo.gl/KEMPbPvUPnLTFL128

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

hopkinse
Coat

Re: Poo tickets in short supply here in Oz

I think you'll find that Rylan Clark-Neal got there before you :-)

School's out as ransomware attack downs IT systems at Scotland's Dundee and Angus College

hopkinse

Re: Oh, the irony

I'm sure they will make it onto the syllabus of every other College/Uni in Scotland later in the year :-)

The Nokia 3.2 is a phone your nan will love: One camera's more than enough, darling

hopkinse

Re: Wow, *two* years?

Soon to be available on escobarinc.com :-)

Go champion retires after losing to AI, Richard Nixon deepfake gives a different kind of Moon-landing speech...

hopkinse

Re: Nixon speech

It's the mice, I tell you, it's the mice...

Frankie: Hey Benjy, this is getting pretty boring. The Humans don't seem to be any closer to the Answer. Shall we have some fun?

Benjy: How paranoid can we make them?

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room

hopkinse
Thumb Down

Over-zealous office cleaners...

many moons ago I worked in an office where I used to have to hide my coffee cup every night because the cleaners thought it was a good idea to periodically dump any cups they could lay their hands into a bucket of bleach, presumably to get the tannin stains off the tea-drinkers' cups. Took a good couple of days to get rid of the hint of bleach taste drinking coffee so god knows how bad it must have tasted drinking tea out of them!

Hyphens of mass destruction: When a clumsy finger meant the end for hundreds of jobs

hopkinse
Facepalm

Database woes...

A long(ish) time ago, in the late 90s/early 00s I was working for a company where I had spent a fair few years doing coding on a PC based Retail Point of Sale system.

We also provided servicedesk services for a variety of retail chains in the UK and used a fairly low-to-mid-range system, called Heat, to log calls for all the different customers.

I was given the task of seeing if we could make it multi-tenant so that calls could be easily logged and managed for each customer using categories, SLAs, and stuff like that tailored for each customer and to make it easy to switch between different customers within the system when taking calls.

After a bit of time playing with the out of the box customisation options, which were mostly around tweaking fields on forms and setting-up system wide categories,SLAs,escalation routes, I ended-up implementing a whole load of functionality using triggers and stored procedures on the back end database, which was SQL Server 7.0.

I had never even clapped eyes on SQL Server before this - The PoS system I had worked on used a flat file back end database and I had no SQL Server training (of course!) so I pretty much learned on the hoof and had no support from the people who had originally installed the system.

To cut a long story short, I accidentally truncated the core call reference table that everything else hung off pretty much at the busiest time of the day! There were no Pk/Fk relationships within the database to stop that happening - all the relationships were handled within the software itself.

I couldn't just restore the database without kicking everyone out of the system and causing a fair amount of TITSUP* so, after about 30 seconds of wild panic, I ended up restoring to another database everything up to the last transaction log backup, which I had thankfully enabled a couple of weeks previously after discovering the woeful backup strategy that had been left by the original installers, and copied the restored data back over to the live database.

All done in 15 minutes flat! Hardly anyone even noticed there had been a problem and I found a dark corner to go and recover my sanity!

Needless to say, I was much more careful about using the truncate command after that....

On the plus side, I moved to a better paid DBA job in the finance sector a year or so later off the back of that project!

* Total Inability To Support Usual PoSProblems

Pentagon beams down $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft: Windows giant beats off Bezos

hopkinse

Re: Azure still only has 4 multi-AZ regions, compared to AWS' 18 3-region AZs...

You can bet your bottom dollar that the DOD Azure deployment won't be running on any of the public cloud kit, will have extra layers of redundancy and will be much more strictly controlled, in terms of patching/updates.

hopkinse
Joke

Is your name Dr Evil? :-P

HMRC slaps Getronics with winding-up petition: It'll be sorted out today, blurts tech services firm

hopkinse

Re: The long and winding road...

For me, the rot had set in during the Computeraid days - I was in an office outside Glasgow and head office/sales was Farnborough. Sales didn't have a clue about using our product ( till software) as a way in to then sell other nicely profitable services off the back of it. They were only interested in stuff you could throw over the wall and forget about

hopkinse
Pint

UK Civil Service/Forces tracing paper bog roll used to have 'property of HMSO' stamped in green on every sheet. Made me laugh at the time, just before I winced trying to wipe my *rse with the horrible stuff. Beer icon to numb the pain!

hopkinse

The long and winding road...

I worked for Getronics briefly in the early noughties, having started my job working for Alcatel in the mid 90s, then our unit was sold to Computeraid, a spin-off from Thorn EMI. After losing their shirt on Autonomy they were bought out by PinkRoccade, which was the privatised Dutch Civil Service IT and one of the largest employers in Holland, behind Phillips. Then Getronics bought out PinkRoccade.

Each move brought further disconnect from the business so I took a sideways step elsewhere...

IBM cuts ribbon on quantum computing centre wherein a 53-qubit monster lurks

hopkinse
Joke

Re: Forgive my ignorance

If you can't play DOOM on it, then what's the point?

Scott McNealy gets touchy feely with Trump: Sun cofounder hosts hush-hush reelection fundraiser for President

hopkinse
Coat

Makes a change from the usual Dr Evil impersonation. Close your eyes and it would be difficult to tell them apart...

Big bang theory: Was mystery explosion over New York caused by a meteor? Dunno. By a military jet? Maybe...

hopkinse
Coat

Re: Don't panic

It's Vogon Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz warming up for his latest poetry reading

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

hopkinse
Coat

Re: Eh?

Those were the days. When Jimmy Saville was just an irritating tw*t with a poor taste in tracksuits. I never got a Blue Peter badge....

All roads in US cable biz GTT's Brit network seem to lead to Menwith Hill

hopkinse

Re: As I only live a few miles from The Hill...

There are a whole bunch of newcomers. In Central Scotland Cityfibre are filling the gaps where NTL/Virgin gave up in the 90s.

Our sales were to genuine customers, Autonomy ex-CEO Mike Lynch insists in court

hopkinse
FAIL

Re: Ahh, it's Friday...

I wonder if one of the HP legal team said at some point "I have a plan.. a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a fox"

Oblivious 'influencers' work on 3.6-roentgen tans in Chernobyl after realising TV show based on real nuclear TITSUP

hopkinse
Coat

Re: Can someone explain...

How dare you! Viz is an order of magnitude further up the journalistic ladder than the Sport

Microsoft Bing is 10: That thing you accidentally use to search for Chrome? Still alive and kicking

hopkinse

Re: been using bing for about 18 months

Altavista - another fine example of the pitfalls of unending quest for growth by expanding outside your core competency and trying to be everything for everybody. It was my friend for years until they screwed it and google came along.

Honey, hive had it with this drone: Couple lived for years with thousands of bees in bedroom wall

hopkinse

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency...

Your FREE end-of-the-world guide: What happens when a sun like ours runs out of fuel

hopkinse

Re: Perhaps

Welcome to the Brexit at the End of the Universe. Watch Theresa May implode while dining on Ameglian Major Cow and sipping a particularly fine Pan Galactic Gargleblaster. With guest speaker

Max Quordlepleen.

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register

hopkinse

errr I'm still using my 6 year old nokia 1020 WP8.1 :-P

Sinister secret backdoor found in networking gear perfect for government espionage: The Chinese are – oh no, wait, it's Cisco again

hopkinse

"Didn't GCHQ essentially told parliament that they don't trust any networking gear from anybody or that any network could be deemed secure? An everything should be encrypted before it sent across any network?"

Is that not essentially paragraph 1 of any discussion on security that's worth its salt?!

The peelable, foldable phone has become the great white whale of tech

hopkinse

Re: "Pholdable"

All this talk of 'pholdables' is making me frasmotic. I feel a bout of anaspepsia coming on!

HP crashed Autonomy because US tech titan's top brass 'lost their nerve', says lawyer for ex-CEO Mike Lynch

hopkinse

Re: Creepy 'Maths qualified' Salespeople

The USP was supposedly that the software was more than just a search engine and would analyze/mine and give context to data and could do supposedly 'intelligent' search.

The company I worked for in the late 90s/early 2000s sunk a shitload of cash into a datacentre built in their head office in Farnborough ( go figure??? First mistake - it was prime office estate not nice and cheap industrial unit) to sell Autonomy as an early SaaS offering.

Like everything else that we were doing at the time that didn't involve box shifting or other throw it over the wall and forget business, our sales people didn't have a clue and it went nowhere. Pretty much broke the company and the net result was that we were bought out by a Dutch outfit called PinkRoccade.

Ethiopian Airlines boss confirms suspect flight software was in use as Boeing 737 Max crashed

hopkinse

Re: $80,000?

That's for the Hotblack Airlines version :-)

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

hopkinse

Re: All too late

We had a reputation to diminish? I think you'll find that fuckwitts like Gavin Williamson et al have already destroyed what was left of it.

hopkinse

Re: Bots or scripts or sunnink.

You need to confirm by email by clicking on a link before your vote will be registered. Presumably only one vote per email address. I'd imagine it would be more than trivial to spam that significantly with bots.

I voted several hours ago but haven't had the email to be able to confirm. The total has only crept up by 100,000 odd in the last three hours. Wonder how many other people are still waiting for an email? Seems like a good way to knobble the process :-)

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

hopkinse

Re: Bah!

hahahahahahahaha. I work with a guy who is the spitting image of Wally, even down to the smattering of hairs sticking up.

hopkinse

Re: GIMP is hard to master

He is writing in what used to be known as normal english, before text speak took over. If you have dificulty following him, you should try legal contracts :-P

hopkinse
Coat

flippers?

" I thought he was a police diver who'd taken a wrong turning while hunting for his misplaced flippers."

No police diver would be looking for his flippers because they call them fins. Flippers are for amateurs that don't know any better :-P

Strictly speaking, flippers are on water living mammals on the vestigial equivalent of their front legs

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

hopkinse

Re: It is possible to produce an idiot proof interface.

We had all the old crap in those machines. Apart from the 1st gen Sony CD drives ( complete with caddy ) that came in at about £400 a pop everything else was pretty long in the tooth for the early 90s - kyocera and various other 25Meg MFM drives, no-name wd1003 controller cards, various no-name MDA cards. If you were lucky you had a white screen monitor rather than the usual orange. Ahhh those were the days :-)

hopkinse

Re: It is possible to produce an idiot proof interface.

Sounds familiar :-) Our machines used to live on a shelf under the till counter and I think had Hayes or Akhter 1200 baud modems to transfer sales data back to head office. I think they shared the line with the phone on the counter so comms during shop hours couldn't be relied on, hence why updates were sent out on floppies!

hopkinse

Re: It is possible to produce an idiot proof interface.

In the early 90s I worked for a company who had systems in John Menzies shops ( UK high street newspaper, stationery, music, books, computer games seller ) across the country that produced copies of 8 bit home computer games on demand.

The system was just a 286 in a custom case with drives such as 3.5", 5.25", cassette drive and amstrad 3" in bays on the front, plus a bunch of blanked off spare bays for future expansion.

We used to send out updates on 3.5" floppy disk and the users were supposed to put the disk in the drive then select an update function from an admin menu in the system software and follow the prompts. Should be pretty simple but, when the first update went out we got lots of calls from shop staff saying they were getting disk not present errors or something like that.

After a lot of head scratching it turned out that they were forcing the disk into the gap between the drive bay blanking plates rather than into the drive itself!

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

hopkinse

Re: Cotton, really?

It's a closed ecosystem so much of the water consumed will be re-cycled: water is broken down as part of the carbon fixing process (photosynthesis) but my guess is that the bulk of the water consumed is through transpiration, i.e. evaporation through the stomata pores in the leaves.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

hopkinse

That would be Silicon Computers I think near Haymarket. Vendors of all things grey :-)

hopkinse

I used to have an Alcatel badged blister pack of I think 4 floppies - windows 2.0 :-)

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

hopkinse
Stop

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

keep your guns to yourself please

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

hopkinse
Coat

Re: Talking of films ...

I now can't get Black Lace out of my head....

Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

hopkinse

errr you can do a transaction log backup that just simply truncates the log contents without doing an actual backup. No need to switch recovery model of the database.

hopkinse

Re: Something is missing about this tale

It wouldn't have been running anything other that Windows if it ws MS SQL Server - NT4 and up

DBA drifts into legend after inventive server convo leaves colleagues fearing for their lives

hopkinse
Coat

That's amost as much fun as using a binary editor to change system messages by modifying command.com back in the good old days days of DOS. This was in the days when viruses were just starting to appear, so a couple of carefully re-crafted messages caused much panic and head-scratching :-)

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

hopkinse
Coat

Re: re The bad old days

She was Billericay Dickie's bit on the side. She used to take day trips to Thanet :-)

hopkinse
Flame

Re: Ah, the old days

Usually, with embedded installs of SQL/Oracle/whatever database, there are no maintenance routines put in place so the system slowly grinds to a halt as the database(s) fill up, become fragmented, the filesystem fills up, etc, etc. Then you find out that all of the database access is via the system administrator account, with default passwords. This is especially true if you've paid consultants to come in and set it up who then don't have to support the system - throw it in and forget!

Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

hopkinse
Joke

Re: It's time

Was it you who ripped me off with that advert in Viz?

As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in

hopkinse
Joke

schrodinger's browser...

"if a browser tab crashes, but no one ever uses it, did it really crash?"

Fat chance: Cholesterol leads boffins to discover world's oldest animal fossil – 558m years old

hopkinse
Joke

Re: David Dickinsonia

Where's the bottle of fake tan ;-)

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath

hopkinse

Re: Nokia is dead! Long live Nokia!

It's a bit different from the usual brand badging, in that Nokia have a stake, and input into the company and a lot of ex-Nokia people are working there. It's not the Nokia of old but time will tell if they can survive.

hopkinse

I'm still using my 1020 I bought when it was released, still on it's original battery too!

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