* Posts by BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

661 posts • joined 11 May 2012

Page:

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Yo Dabbsy

Nope, it's rail station, or railway station. Trains run on rails.

I'll grant that as I do most of my commuting and leisure via trains rather than driving I may have taken a bit of an interest in the correct terminology and state of the railways (Electrification engineering up North is currently disrupting services a lot)

1
1
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: That takes me back

Apparently the reason white dog turds aren't been seen any more is because dog food no longer contains bonemeal..

Pretty certain you could reduce that age to 35, though. Yes, I am over 40 but reckon it'd extend a little beyond that..

3
0

OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Carrot will always work over stick

As one of the other commentators say, there has to be an advantage for using IPV6. Either companies have to be generous and offer freebies to IPV6 connections (i.e. Valve offering extra free game weekends over IPV6), or perhaps funding companies to disable adverts on IPV6 for now.

Go on, reg, if you actually care. Enable IPV6 on thereg, and disable adverts over it for a few weeks, or say ten minutes of no ads for IPV6 users a day. Put your money where your mouth is.

Consumers do not care about IPV6, but they won't change because their ISP doesn't support it, and their router may not either. If the ISP fixed those two problems, their operating system would very probably 'just work' (all currently supported operating systems support IPV6, and it's available to people who are still using XP..)

1
0

Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: winfile.exe?

Nah.. it wasn't /that/ different. 2.1 to 3.0 was a larger difference for most people, especially as it consolidated three versions of Windows into one.

0
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: That's a start, Microsoft

Not going to happen. OS/2 contains a load of third party code that IBM can't release. It'd be really expensive for them to do it, and building it is non trivial.

Additionally OS/2 is pretty unusual architecturally, and tends to be demanding on emulators/VMs because of that.

1
0

Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

That might be true, but I find the excitement makes me swerve off the road..

8
0

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: If anyone knows of any other solutions, please reply.

Android AOSP continually receives updates. Android with licensed Google Play Services, as shipped with your mobile phone or tablet, doesn't..

3
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Bring my optical disk drive back!!

They've obviously been booting up OS/2 2.0..

One of the first things most OS/2 users did was edit CONFIG.SYS to include the line SET RESTARTOBJECTS=STARTUPFOLDERSONLY as otherwise it restarted all the applications open at shutdown. Apps were supposed to automatically save state on shutdown (but mostly didn't), and basically it was too annoying to do anything other than re-open your desktop folders and startup programs.

If they start doing per folder wall paper, using the right mouse button to drag and drop, and add REXX as a scripting language you'll know where it came from.

4
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Windows insider Program

We already know what is approved - it's running supported hardware with WHQL drivers. The only thing better than that is knowing what machines the developers are using and buying that, which is the way it used to work (and still does work in the case of OpenBSD).

Of course WHQL isn't perfect, but it's better than it used to be.

Yes, Windows Insider/beta/Linux rc kernels/-current on BSD are naturally less stable than release, *that's the point*. It's possible that people who use beta builds are a little unrepresentative, but that by itself is likely to improve things due to unusual hardware or software configurations. The only 'standard' Windows install I have at home is a Windows tablet..

Personally I don't use Windows enough at home to bother with the insider program, at work it's Enterprise (and I wouldn't want to use anything that wasn't as stable as possible). For OpenBSD I do tend to track -current, as it's remarkably solid (more so than Free/NetBSD where I wouldn't follow anything other than the stable branch), but does involve reasonably regular re-installs and application updates.

4
0

Intel admits a load of its CPUs have Spectre v2 flaw that can't be fixed

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Ivy Bridge has already had a firmware update released for it? 2127U is CPUID 306A9 which is in 'production' state - i.e. allegedly firmware is already out.

This is still a little overblown, well, at least until a worst exploit is found.

Meltdown is a solved problem, aside from the extra money needed to cope with the drop in speed of specific cloud compute instances..

Spectre is a risk assessment, not dissimilar to deprecation of SSL. Certain SSL ciphers are horrendously insecure and need retiring, others might be an issue at some stage. Spectre isn't a problem *yet* for most people. However the day may come when someone finds a reliable exploit that can be easily used by the script kiddies, and at that point it may suddenly be necessary to retire hardware.

I have more sympathy for the general public than small SMEs. Even the small SMEs if they have any business sense write down their computers in three years or less, then sweat the assets. Given that we're talking about unsupported products being more than around six years old they are well and truly worthless from an accounting point of view at this point. If the SME hasn't budgeted for a replacement of their kit, they aren't doing their job.

0
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Also, I know a Penryn era CPU does support virtualisation, and your xw6600 hopefully has working vt-d (the xw4600 certainly doesn't, it's in the BIOS but broken), but you're missing SLAT (EPT/RVI) as it's pre Nehalem. That really does limit both the products that can be used and the possible performance as SLAT is a pre-requisite for many virtualisation systems.

(I should know, my backup system is using the really oddball X38 derived S3210 chipset, which is Core 2, supports VT-d, and ECC DDR2. I also have a system built around an xw4600 motherboard, which would be great if the BIOS wasn't incompletely implemented)

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

It's not a 'couple of generations ago' though, is it? That's a Harpertown CPU from 2007, discontinued 2010 and is Core2 (Penryn) architecture based.

If I'm really generous and only count the overall architectures that's seven generations ago.

If EP/EX etc variants are included add on at least another five chip variants (which I'd be inclined to do as EP chips do tend to include reasonable additional features rather than being a basic re-spin of a desktop chip).

You don't have to airgap it, you need to decide if Spectre variants are a large enough risk to isolate the system. Meltdown is patched by the OS, so as long as it isn't exploited prior to the OS being loaded..

0
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Unless one has an Intel motherboard

..as opposed to other manufacturers, where they similarly also Cannot Be Arsed. Most OS will probably load the revised firmware quite early in the boot process, though, reducing the attack surface considerably.

BIOS wise you'd be wiser to worry more about addressing management engine issues.

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Risk?

Spectre is much lower risk than Meltdown, and difficult to exploit. That's not to say at some point someone won't find a method of making Spectre more exploitable, and then it becomes a larger issue.

Meltdown should definitely be patched as soon as possible, and is safer because it doesn't involve microcode updates, it's an OS patch.

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: But how do we patch?

Search for your CPU here https://ark.intel.com/search?q=

(it's not entirely accurate, despite being Intel, but is good enough).

Look up the product family in this document

https://newsroom.intel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2018/04/microcode-update-guidance.pdf

Patches are supplied as part of your operating system, so just apply the latest patches. For Unix based systems, upgrade to the latest patched release.

2
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Not in use...

Yep, my main system whilst the latest is down is a Yorkfield Xeon (Core 2 Quad). Still totally viable for many purposes.

8
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: So since Intel have now confirmed that are unwilling to fix...

Actually, most of the CPUs I've bought new from retailers have been the retail version - they're practically the same cost and come with a cooler that's guaranteed to work (if perhaps not to be the most effective option).

My latest CPUs were second hand, though, as buying new Xeons is more than a little expensive for a non business user..

6
0

Sysadmin shut down the wrong server, and with it all European operations

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

I always check the window title, but use multiple desktops despite having three monitors. Multiple desktop one are local systems, multiple desktop two are production customer facing systems..

6
1

Terix boss thrown in the cooler for TWO years for peddling pirated Oracle firmware, code patches

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

It is entirely legal to offer support without paying Oracle for the privilege, but doing so is pointless. Without a customer with a support contract with Oracle it's illegal to distribute any product updates to the customer, which basically means your support is based on your own experience and possibly the Oracle knowledge base, if there's no contract terms against that.

The customers had 'a login' but not a login authorised to download patches.

Without the ability to log support calls direct with Oracle or to provide product updates, a support contract is fairly useless.

0
0

*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Disasters aren't as fun these days

I'll leave aside the fact that all the disasters here have been due to internal power issues, which leads to issues pretty much the same as older disasters.

However, a total power failure should theoretically do nothing other than the lights going out and monitors going off. All user machines are laptops, infrastructure should be UPS based. All should be fine - at least until the UPSes run out..

It was much more fun eighteen years ago when the lights go out, there's the sound of twenty hard disks simultaneously spinning down, and then utter silence apart from a plaintive beep from the UPSes in the machine room. Outside of the window is a guy in a JCB looking worried, and claiming that 'those utility cables should have been buried more deeply'.

(plug in genny, some work possible on laptops, get sparky out quickly to hook up power as JCB has only taken out one of the three phases. Fix broken cable)

4
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Reminded me of the tube's 'control room flooded with wet concrete' story from 2014

Read the comments. Concrete takes a while to set and you can include an inhibiting agent, in this case sugar - doesn't actually take a lot and with enough it'll stay liquid forever.

After that it's a matter of a shovel, and a whole lot of cleaning.

3
0

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Away in a manager

It's Friday, so I'll bite. Vi, always vi.

I'm not a particular fan of emacs, it really is terribly unfriendly, but even if I accept that emacs can do more exciting regex work I'd still choose vi. vi is installed on pretty much every Unix system, emacs isn't. vi is often actually vim, which has shedloads of functionality. Works fine on Windows, too.

I'm prepared to be convinced, but vim has managed almost everything I've thrown at it so far.

9
1

Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Mirror C: to X: first

Sometimes you're lucky, but if the port is on a SAS/SCSI backplane IDE/SATA isn't an option.

I recently copied VMs from one ESXi server to another, and initially thought I'd re-use the sole SATA connection intended for optical drives to directly copy between disks. It turned out that whilst there is an SATA connection, there is no SATA power feed or way to extract power from the custom redundant PSUs.

Resorted to an external USB to SATA dock, which despite the fact previous versions of ESXi had fought tooth and nail when using USB storage, ESXi 6.5 was almost straightforward (once the USB service had been stopped, and various obscure commands run to identify the long GUID/lun identifier for the external disk and mount it)

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Mirror C: to X: first

That assumes you can sensibly attach extra drives to a server, which isn't a given. Modern servers all have fast USB, historically you'd better hope there's external SCSI, spare drive bays, or similar.

5
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Thought for a moment it was the SFT II failure I encountered

(which I mentioned previously) where the customer *didn't* have a backup, and an engineer had to sit on site for a week recreating the system from printouts..

There was also the customer who really knew their stuff, and had asked their supplier for a particular HP tape drive. The tape drive arrived, and Did Not Work. Looking at it the customer noted that this wasn't an HP tape drive 'that's ok' said the supplier 'it's actually exactly the same drive, just not HP branded'. 'No', said the customer-with-clue, 'the HP drive has a special chip which enables it to work in this server, and your compatible version does not. Please ship the genuine part'

4
0

Skip-wrecked! Boat full o' rubbish scuppered in Brit residential street

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Entertainment with boats

If you ever want an entertaining evening, go and look at boat adverts.

Very quickly you'll discover several rust buckets on offer for 20 grand in cash with a note that the owner is 'concentrating on doing up the inside first'.

Further entertainment can be obtained from the shmuc^H^H^H new owners who have purchased said barely floating trash, got ripped off by other people who 'totally know about boats and can fit it up guv' (and also accept payment only in cash before disappearing). Not to mention then deciding to do the boat up themselves by popping down to B&Q to buy paint.

None of the above is even slightly exaggerated, and boats aren't my area of expertise either.. I do have friends who sold their house and bought a (comparatively inexpensive) ship to sail round the world with. Despite knowing what they were doing, and buying the ship from a meticulous owner, it still took ages to get fitted..

4
0

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Nah. It took a while for USB to become established, but it was clear from quite early on that PCI would win.

I bought my 486 at the time when PCI was only just being introduced, and had an appreciable price premium, one that many buyers and builders weren't too happy about paying. However, everyone knew that VLB was tied to the processor speed and this wasn't sustainable. Not to mention VLB was limited to an absolute maximum of three slots, and most people ran with a graphics card and an I/O card.

It wasn't a huge issue for most people to buy VLB systems, though, early PCI implementations had quirks, and for anything unusual that needed throughput EISA or Microchannel was already being used. ISA was still fast enough for any non graphics/IO work a general user needed.

0
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Yes. My 486 system was a DX33 and was solid as a rock. I still think VLB is a horrid system and a pain to insert and remove, but the 486 had everything thrown at it - OS/2 (bought specifically for that purpose..), Linux, BSD, DOS, Windows NT...

2
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Feeling Old...

You're not wrong - well, at least not until an onboard device burns out. I've managed to kill a USB port in my secondary system, and the video in my pentium 3 based firewall. In the latter case I stuck in an ISA video card, and was glad it still worked!

(yes, I do need to pony up the cash for a nice pair of apu2c4 firewalls, instead of running crappy old kit, already right on the edge of its onboard storage)

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Feeling Old...

I played all of WC2 on a 286 - you're not wrong, it was slow, particularly in the capital ship battles. Still fun though..

Ultima VII was created in the tricky pre DPMI extender days when ways of extending memory were not standardised, I presume using EMS/XMS wasn't fast enough.

Still, Ultima VII was a ground breaking RPG, so it can be forgiven an awful lot.

6
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Feeling Old...

You can have >640K of base memory by including memory that might otherwise be used by the graphics adapter, if you know the video mode will not be used. I tried it once and it 'worked' but was incredibly slow. Can't remember the setting in DOS off the top of my head (probably an EMM386 switch), it's also an easily ticked box in OS/2 DOS boxes.

The record of jumper settings was vital - I had to get a new vesa local bus (horrid bus, my least favourite) I/O card recently as I'd lost the jumper settings for the original one, there were no identifiable markings on the card, and no-one online knew either (eventually I found a photocopy of the page..)

The Gravis Ultrasound wasn't really that decent a card, other than being essential for sound in a small but select number of demoscene demos. Too many different types, didn't support Adlib/OPL, and game compatibility was hit and miss.

The good news is that the advent of the FreeDOS project has spawned a load of highly efficient support utilities, such as memory managers, mouse drivers, and networking/packet drivers. It's only the work of one evening to construct a DOS system capable of running anything you'd want. FTP with a packet driver is a lot easier to get going than loading up the ancient SMB client, too.

I started out by fiddling with DOS 4.01, the least compact DOS version, getting games running in that wasn't fun..

5
0

Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Next OS - no idea

Yeah, I don't see why a Chromebook wouldn't work for you. Pretty much any of the Unixes would work too.

Surely you're not uploading all your pictures using a browser?

You need to list all your requirements as 'most of what I do' obviously also includes music. Too many times people say their requirements are simple then add '..and play the latest PC games' on to the end.

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

That's particularly unfair. I'm not by any means a fan of Stallman, but they've contributed a lot of essential software (except Emacs, that can die :P ).

Stallman's point is that Linux is just a kernel - it's a very successful kernel, with many features, but it doesn't include a userland.

BSD, on the other hand, is an integrated whole. Each of the BSDs ships with a userland integrated into the operating system, and the concept of distributions largely does not exist.

Also, whilst I strongly disagree with Stallman's idea of software freedom, I do agree with their position on open standards. It's not a position that tends to work perfectly in the real world of closed source hardware and software, but the efforts of Stallman, Theo, and others has helped to make computing more open than it would otherwise be.

The fact Hurd hasn't succeeded isn't really that important - people obviously don't care. The Linux kernel is a good enough option for people that want an operating system that forces sharing of code, and a wide choice of distributions. For a different take on free software there are the BSDs, and for closed source there's Windows and OS X (plus a number of minority OSses with varying licences and capabilities).

Obviously all these above operating system choices meet the vast majority of requirements, so Hurd does not need to succeed.

4
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

No love for FreeBSD?

I use a mixture of OS - won't be stopping using Windows any time soon, although I'm rather irritated that one home install has managed to trash itself and insist my graphics cards are broken (they are not).

Timeline (aka 'recent documents') sounds like a decent idea, but I'm not fond of the rolling upgrades or the loss of control Windows 10 involves. 8 and prior versions on the other hand, just keep on trucking.

My main system is a combination of Xen, FreeBSD, and Windows. However it currently needs a bit of attention, so a lot of the time I'm booting up my OpenBSD systems. To be honest it does 95% of what I want (web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, some development), and there are consoles and retro PCs for gaming, etc. The modern system is needed for VR, high end virtualisation, and recent PC games though..

I do like OpenBSD, but I'm not blind to its shortcomings. Binary compatibility doesn't exist. Emulation is less than wonderful (Linux subsystem dropped, no WINE, no Virtualbox or accelerated qemu). Graphics card support is dated and there's no manufacturer driver (closed source) support. No bluetooth, firewire, 802.11ac (802.11n is just about getting there). Such a lovely, integrated, easy and quick to install, and well documented system though.

3
0

Windows Server 2019 coming next year and the price is going up

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: The price is going up..

You do understand that new features are necessary to sell product? They're a baseline for the sale, any price increase has to provide something truly notable. Stability should also be a given.

8
0

FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

I don't know precisely where you live in the US, but that's not my experience of coders in the UK, or indeed many places elsewhere.

Even (especially?) in the open source world, people generally don't like coders that go it alone, or are resistant to feedback. It only causes problems later, especially if their component becomes important.

There's plenty of opportunity for coders to socialise, and work together, and it occurs regularly.

6
0

Maplin shutdown sale prices still HIGHER than rivals

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Prices have been inflated..

Popped into a Maplin tonight, and the prices have been artificially inflated so that with the discount they're as or even more expensive than before.

Pondered a reduced four channel mixer but couldn't find any reviews, and would have to buy new cables. The 60W 4A worldwide multi voltage supply that's well made was more expensive than when I bought two a few months back.

Walked out without buying anything, and that's even when I had half an hour to kill, and thought I could find something worthwhile.

Even the stuff that is a genuine bargain, such as the Hakko FX888D at 115 quid if you can find one is only a little more expensive online from a distributor that'll give you a warranty..

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: What do you expect?

I don't think you understand (or possibly care) how expensive it is to run a shop. The shops still need all the warehousing, warehouse staff, online admin, IT, management etc that online only businesses use as they also have an online presence.

On top of that there are also business rates, rent, staff costs, utilities, maintenance...

Do you seriously propose funding that from the 10p margin per low end HDMI lead they'd receive over the online businesses, with an additional 2% margin?

Yes, the margin on some Maplin products is excessive, but you need to be realistic.

0
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Just another symptom

WHS I could probably agree on, it doesn't do anything well, although it's probably the only widespread high street chain to sell magazines (there are plenty of newsagents, but they're generally local. This may or may not be relevant). They've also cornered travel and hospital locations, and you at least know there will be an adequate if not necessarily extensive selection of books, and an emergency card and stationery selection.

Boots on the other hand, I can't think of many alternatives where various beauty/skincare/medicines can be bought, and many of the Boots stores have a better range of sandwiches than most other locations.

2
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

People will not pay for service, by and large. There will always be a premium for bricks and mortar shops unless they're far out of the way, or they're very lucky with rent (Scan do ok, because they have one shop open on restricted hours, outside a retail park, and at least two warehouses to stock their predominantly mail order business).

It isn't just Maplin who stock expensive cables - almost much all retail outlets (with the exception of Poundland, and possibly Clas Ohlson ) are pricey, and that should tell you something.

Prices at Amazon are also increasing incidentally.

A lot of the more independent stores are on historic favourable rents; their building then gets re-developed, the rent doubles, and the only business that can afford it are the large corporates, leading to a sanitised high street. Rinse and repeat.

3
1

Gartner's top tip to data crunchers on the eve of GDPR? Don't be creepy

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: A suggestion

No point. The Windows 10 license agreement is actually fairly straight forward.

The 'problem' is that people don't like what it says, especially with regards to reselling and activation, and because it basically boils down to 'buy the expensive retail edition to do what you want' and 'a vm is another computer, and is separately licensed'

1
0

Sysadmin held a rack of servers off the ground for 15 mins, crashed ISP when he put them down

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Trumpet Winsock on Win95?

It does - it shipped with TAPI that considerably simplified things (provided the modem inf file was correct, which it wasn't in all cases, especially if you wanted to do anything other than connect to the Internet).

What I didn't know is that there was also a TAPI release for Windows 3.1. No idea how well it worked..

9
0

Intel: Our next chips won't have data leak flaws we told you totally not to worry about

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: So...a whole new computer?

I'm going to be porting a couple of packages, it's good to have a non x86 platform to test on. I also have a few PowerPC boxes I could use. I have two O2s, each cost me the princely sum of a tenner each from a reseller of ex corporate/educational kit and were from Salford University (probably their VR suite).

I'll have to see how it works - last time I looked Linux was probably the most functional, although porting software to it was interesting (autoconf generally goes 'what the fuck is this?').. NetBSD had a nicely accelerated X, OpenBSD not so much. Both BSDs suffer from the substandard PS/2 hardware in the O2s, I'm getting horrific key repeat to the point it's unusable from a glass terminal. Going to stick in a PCI USB card and use that instead..

I don't expect to run anything modern on it - I tried running OpenBSD on a pentium II 300 (retro gaming box), and it was incapable of running X and Wireshark without dropping packets, tcpdump was fine though.

The second O2 I'm using as a proper O2 and running Irix, it doesn't get used too much (and also suffers because there's no effective free compiler toolchain available for Irix)

1
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: So...a whole new computer?

You'd be better buying a buckling spring keyboard from Unicomp - they'll last forever. There are reasonably priced (60 quid) mechanical keyboards on the market too, as well as the 100 quid plus RGB coloured monstrosities.

As to age of hardware, pfft amateur. My newest monitor is a decent 20" HP TFT from 2010, oldest a pair of CRTs from 2004.. My main system went from a decent system for 2008, to an excellent system for 2013 (I do not have the spare cash to buy new dual Xeons..). Admittedly a lot of it is quite recent - the hard drives, RAID enclosures, case, and PSU are all new. The motherboard is new, but E5-2600 era. Why buy new unless you have to.

Of course I did boot up an SGI O2 running OpenBSD last night. It took ten minutes of disk churning and 50% of CPU to re-link the kernel on boot. High end 1997 tech struggles with a modern OS.

4
0

Boffins find sign of water existing deep into Earth's mantle by looking at diamonds

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

It's worth reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea to learn not only that it's about the distance travelled, but also that it's a decent book. Unsurprisingly, they do spend a lot of time talking about fish, and various sequences are nicely tense.

4
0

OK, deep breath, relax... Let's have a sober look at these 'ere annoying AMD chip security flaws

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

That's unavoidable due to humans and business. Someone is always going to try and make a quick buck, so yes, the average user buying a patch to stop their software displaying 19100 is probably wasting their time.

No-one sells papers by saying 'IT industry are responsible, there will be no problem' when they can sell papers twice by first claiming it will be a disaster, and afterwards that it was hot air.

The message had to be broadcast, as everyone uses computers these days. A side effect to any large event is always someone trying to exploit it.

5
0
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

@Carl D - Y2K was a big issue, and the problems were real. The software we used at the time would have broken if unpatched, I tested it and the scheduling went haywire.

It's probably fair to say a reasonable amount of the defects were display issues, but then again, if you're writing 19100 out to a file and it's being used elsewhere...

17
0

Capita screw-ups are the pits! Brit ex-miner pensioners billed for thousands in extra tax

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: crapita corner

It really isn't that simple - some of the franchises have been utter disasters, and there's also the fact that carriages are allocated by central government. That means it's taken years for e.g. Northern to be supplied new (old, recycled London) carriages, and I'm still sandwiched in to thirty year old Pacer trains (could be worse though, could be the Welsh valleys, which get castoffs from everywhere that's getting rid of their already castoff trains)

I'd certainly vote for re-nationalisation when each franchise ended.

Currently the situation is also that the Tories are blaming the train companies for strikes due to Driver Only Operated trains, when DOO is actually a franchise requirement set by.. the Tories.

1
1
BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Re: crapita corner

Private Eye are already covering it and have for years.

PFI reduces direct responsibility for governments, and also moves any spending off the record books so that spurious budget targets can be met.

All major parties are complicit with this. It got much worse under Labour, then the Tories continued apace.

Corbyn has realised re-nationalisation (slowly) is a vote winner, so is punting it for the trains and other areas.

7
1

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

There was a large company with a very resilient back end

This was the days of a piece of data polling software with a Novell SFT III back end - so two servers with RAID, and both mirrored to one another.

At this point there was some sort of hardware issue, and one of the SFT III servers was removed, with no interruption in service - lovely!

The server was fixed, re-introduced, and SFT III mirroring was turned on again. In the wrong direction. An hour later there was a highly resilient mirror of blank systems.

We advised them to restore from backup - there wasn't one. 'How about the single floppy configuration backup job?' (that would at least have preserved system scripts) - that wasn't running either.

An engineer had to sit on site for a week, recreating the config from printouts and specifications..

5
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018