I'm glad I live in Scotland. Our NHS is not controlled from London, so no NHSX here.
20 posts • joined 1 Dec 2012
BBS, my first florey into the world of connecting a computer to another via the telephone system. I had an Amiga 500 with a super-fast 14.4KB modem - all my mates had a 9.6KB. I could rocket a 1MByte file in just under 5 minutes. those were the days.
My BBS was called Guru-10, and I had lots of fun connecting and getting files. My mum was always annoyed that the telephone line was in use, so my parents thought about getting a second line fitted - just for me. But, I would have to pay the bill. I thought no, I can't afford that. me, being a student at the time with no money - except my grant.
With the BBS came FidoNET - the first email system generally available to Joe-Public. Absolutely brilliant, being able to send messages to people and getting replies back. The only issue was that to get the reply back in real time you needed to be connected.
So, what I needed was a Dialler / Offline Reader system - TRAPDOOR and APRIL were the tools I used. I created a system called AmiPoint v2.1 which automated the installation of these systems on people's Amiga. CU Amiga did a review and said "Amiga Point v2.1 Comms for the masses - exactly as it should be."
Those were the days, sometimes I wish it was all still like this - especially after receiving 1500 pieces of email junk in a day. time to SELECT-ALL and then DELETE. If its important, they'll email me back.
Microsoft have always tried to badger its competition, from MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 up to Windows 10 and Office365. It's bizarre that its putting its two top apps against each other. Personally, I prefer on-premises solutions. You know where your data is and if the hardware breaks you need to fix it. That's a Pro and a Con for on Premises.
I think Microsoft should split up - its got its hands into too many things - Network Operating Systems / Desktop Operating Systems / Office-Productivity Suites / Games machines to name a few. Microsoft should concentrate on Operating Systems, for network and desktop devices, hive off Office to someone else, give the games to Sony or someone, that way they can concentrate on building an operating system that does not need patched 2 weeks after being released.
In the long run, MS won't do any of this. They will drop everything that is on the desktop and put everything on the cloud, the only software which will reside on your desktop device is a simple application which makes a connection to the MS Cloud as soon as the hardware starts, and everything you do is done on the cloud and all applications are installed there also.
Is this good for data security? Maybe - Maybe not. It's also bad for your personal data - as the owner of your data - you will have no direct access to it, and even if you delete files, they will still be there somewhere and someone will be able to access your personal data - which you have deleted.
I don't think so. Give me on-premises all the time, a little bit more hassle but your data is exactly where it should be and not in the hands of some overseas conglomerate.
Pigeons - rats with wings. At least with rats, they can be trained and can be clean, but pigeons are the scum of the earth - along with seagulls.
You never see a baby pigeon, they must come out of their eggs fully grown and ready to eat anything. I have seen pigeons with missing toes on one foot and maybe one toe on the other, they walk around quite easily. Its as if they don't need toes to walk around with, I have also seen pigeons with only one leg, and it still hops around. There are pigeons who have dive-bombed the pigeon spikes and survived, and the only thing that has happened is that the spike has gotten flattened, so when one does it, the others watch and do it too and soon the pigeon spikes are all flattened and new spikes are needed. I, personally, think these spikes should be poisoned or electrified so kill the buggers.
Pigeons are the ONLY flying bird that would rather run away from you than fly away.
As to a solution for pigeons, if you don't want to use poison or electrification is to get the rats, teach them to eat pigeon eggs and adult pigeons. You do this by putting a rat into a large bin filled with pigeons and their eggs, after some time they will only eat pigeon eggs. I know this is a little bit Sky-Fall, but the principal is correct, and it should work. And to get rid of the rats, you get a Scottie (West Highland Terrier) doggie. Its best to get one of these little white fluffy dogs which has an attitude problem, they will rip any rat apart.
I know this is a "non-tech" solution, but from experience old tech or non-tech sometimes works better than these new fangled devices what some boffin comes up with.
This is the funniest news I have heard about Kwik-Fit in a long time, It's typical of Kwik-Fit, no virus killer on their servers or desktops / no spam email filer on their email servers / no malware detector-destroyer on any systems and it could not happen to a better company.
Hopefully this company will flow down the drain - where it belongs.
Well, well, well. Finally Mickysoft dumps Windows 7 and ie10... Not until 2020.
Because they want more punters to spend more of their hard earned cash on systems which will no doubt need a Service Pack or bug fix after a few months. They want everybody using their latest super-duper software and want them to spend the money to get it. I gave up on MS years ago, and quite frankly I am glad.
We have had many problems with Office365 and its attempt to send emails through our MX redirect to our Mail Filtering System, from emails not arriving at all or arriving very late. Our security company is adamant its not them - They answer my calls quickly, and they come to our office to check our systems. But, speaking to an MS Operative is like talking to a brick - "Why are you doing this?" is a common question I get asked.
"Because I like my life to be difficult" I think to myself, but I answer, "Because we need this MX record redirect because we have been hit a few times with bad emails and this system works well for us, so can you redirect the emails to our MS redirect?"
"Eh, I'll need to pass it up..."
Okay, if I was by myself and make the decisions I would dump Office365 and return to on-premises email system, but I am not and I don't
Hopefully, one day, MS will actually think that they are not the only IT business out there, and everything which is not MS security is "BAD".
But, I doubt that will happen anytime soon.
Well done, I also enjoy wasting the time from scammers - "Hello Windows technical support..." type calls.
As a Linux user (Linux Mint) on a laptop, they try and get me to do the "Windows Key plus R", but that does not work. They get a bit confused as to why it does not work. I usually get passed onto their "Second Line" Support / Expert scammer, but they are equally confused They ask what type of computer I use, I say "Asus", which to them is a Windows PC.
These scammers need to be imprisoned for decades, but if that happens then I won't have my fun. The longest I have kept them on the phone was just under 1 hour, I was bored ay the end of it, but at least they called me and not some poor innocent who would be conned by these vermin.
Once again, well done and I will need to note this as a new tactic these vermin are trying to use.
As an ex-field engineer I have lots of stories to tell about customers 8alls ups or mistakes or unreliability between the brain and fingers or telephone.
One day I get a call from a very high-tech engineering business.
"Hello It Support" I answer.
"Ah, hello. can you help us?" the caller (male) says, "The monitor of my PC is all wobbly."
"Wobbly??" I ask
"Yes, Wobbly, like a jelly." the caller explains, "You know like a jelly. It's the picture, its all wobbly. can you help?"
"Of course I can help, what's your address?" I ask.
I got the address and headed for the van. I took my toolkit and I wondered what "Wobbly" actually meant.
I arrived onsite after a short 15minute drive. I passed through security and was left in the reception of the office, cum factory.
A few minutes after the receptionist called a number a rather harassed man in a suit rushed into the reception.
"Hello, are you here for the monitor?" I was asked.
"Good, follow me." I was told.
We walked through the office building and up a small 4-step set of stairs, along another corridor and into a windowless office.
"Look" I was told.
And lo-and-behold, I saw a monitor with a wobbly screen. It was an old-style CRT plugged into a minitower on a desk. There were another 3 similar PC in the office, the others were okay.
"Have you swapped the monitor?" I asked.
I unplugged a monitor which was working on another PC and plugged it into the PC with the wobbly monitor. This monitor appeared okay but after about 20 seconds it started to wobble like the original. I plugged the wobbly monitor into the PC with no monitor and the picture was perfect - no wobble.
I went to the van an picked up the loan monitor and video adapter I always carried with me, plugged it in to the faulty PC - there was a significant wobble on the screen. I powered off the PC and rplaced the VGA card, powered on and waited...
I swapped the VGA card back to the original and moved the PC to another desk. The display was perfect. No wobble. I moved a working PC to the desk where the faulty one was and it wobbled.
So, a faulty PC and monitor moved from one location to another and the fault didn't.
I stood for a few seconds. Another engineer from the client company entered the office, I looked at the door and could see the beginnings of the factory. I left the office and looked along the wall. Through the partition wall was a 3-phase, 415v junction box.
Aah. The solution. Power, but not in the right place. I showed the engineer the solution - to move the PC or the junction box. The elected to move the PC and the issue was fixed.
Many years ago I was a field service engineer for a small IT services business in central Scotland. The company received a call from a medium sized client that the time on their PC was wrong - wrong by nine minutes
An engineer was sent out with a CMOS, CR2032, battery, he duly swapped the battery and reset the time - all was well. The engineer left and an hour later the company called saying that the time was wrong again. A senior engineer visited the customer later that day, he took a motherboard and a CMOS battery. He checked and said that the motherboard was knackered and so he duly swapped it out. By this time is was end of the day for the client so left after testing the PC that the time was correct, he rebooted a few times and all was well.
The next morning the client called again. This time my box spoke to me and said, "Your good at figuring out these crazy issues. Go and fix it!"
Normally we would have 90 minutes to diagnose and fix any issue, when I asked how long I had he replied with "Just fix it!".
"Okay" I said.
I loaded the van with a power supply, another motherboard and a few different CMOS batteries. It took about 45 minutes to get from the office to the client site, I entered and spoke to the local manager. I was shown the PC and asked how long it would take to fix it.
"I don't really know, I need to figure out why the previous repairs failed and then I need to see what the problem actually is."
I disconnected the PC from the power and network and sat it on a desk in a small room away from the main office. I stripped the PC down to components and checked each. CPU was fine - no bent pins, RAM was fine - I swapped it anyway. Checked the voltages on the PSU and all were within range. I did a DIAG2000 hard-disk diagnostics and the HDD passed the tests with flying colours.
By this time it was almost lunch. I went to the managers office to say I would be going out for a little time to get lunch. The manager was okay, I asked how I was progressing. I said I still could not find the fault, but I was hoping I would get it done soon.
I looked at my watch, it said 13:15. I looked at the time on the managers PC - 13:06. Eh? Hold on a minute. I checked another PC and the time was 13:06. Right, it looked as if all the PC's had the wrong time, but no one noticed except the user who contacted us.
I went to the server room. a nice IBM box running Novel Netware 3.11. I checked the time on the server - 13:07.
Netware being Netware controls the time on the client PC's which is attached the server.
The light clicked on. I swapped out the CMOS battery - just to be sure - and reset the time.
Done, dusted and finished.
When I told my boss, he was shocked that two previous engineers - one senior - had not noticed this. I was rewarded with my normal salary and a nice bottle ok whisky.
Those were the days.
I am always amazed that Microsoft and Adobe need to do bug fixes on a regular monthly rate. The real reason for this is that the applications were not written properly, and the testing was inadequate.
App applications have bugs - faults in the code - and proper testing should and would find these and eliminate them.
But MS and Adobe want their latest and greatest applications out there, and both of these companies - and most, if not all, allow their users to find them and tell them and hopefully the companies would fix it. But not always.
I am totally fed up with these companies updates and security fixes - some of which cause bigger problems.
I say that the companies should write their applications properly in the first place, and these issues won't happen.
Doom is a classic game. I was a junior IT support engineer in 1993 at a Further Education College. At the end of the day we disconnected our PC's (Windows 3.1) from the LAN (Netware 3.1) and play the network unsafe version of Doom.
But one day - We didn't disconnect the main LAN connection to the rest of the network...
20 minutes into the game, we got a frantic telephone call. The person on the other end of the line was the head of the Computer Studies department shouting down the line that his internet connection was very slow. We had a 128KByte Leased Line connection. He read out the MAC access of the PC which was "hogging the internet." We looked at the MAC address and realized it was the first one which was on the small network.
"We'll look into it" I said in a serious, IT service type voice.
"How long will it take to fix?" He asked.
""A few minutes, we'll need to find the PC and see what it's doing. It may be a student downloading work." I said.
"Okay..." he said.
We quickly disconnected the LAN cable, and waited a few minutes. I called him back and asked him to test it, he said it was okay now and thanked us.
Following that, we got a RED 10BaseT cable and made sure it was disconnected before we plugged in Doom.
It has always bee allowed for home users to make a backup copy of any thing they purchase - music, movies. as long as they have the original at home, they can argue that the backup copy is used to keep the original safe.
How then, in the olden days, were people allowed to tape vinyl LP's and cary the recorded tape about in their Walkman.
same principle applies. if they have the original then a backup copy can be produced and that one used to play, etc.
The Virgin Media helpdesk are quite frankly awful. Quite Frankly every IT service desk I have called have been more than poor - they are sh7e.
I switched off Virgin and moved to Sky - this was when you could not get sky 1 on virgin, and also I worked for the 2nd line team for Virgin (Telewest at the time).
We were constantly getting idiots on the phone and the 1st lineers basically could not deal with them- they had to get the call and logi it within 300 seconds - YES 300 seconds. after that time they were told to pass them over to us.
I remember one guy who was complaining that his internet was not working - we had been informed that British Gas had cut through the cable whilst doing their own repair. We had engineers enroute, and the ETA was approx 3 hours to complete the repair.
This guy was complaining that there was an important football match on and he could not see that either. I explained that the cable into his area was damaged and the engineers are enroute to fix it - I have him the ETA.
He said he was very angry and was wanting to watch the football. I explained that the fault was going to be repaired - but it needed time. He saidif the repair was not completed in 1 hour he was cancelling his account.
OK I said, and gave him the cancellations number.
I don't know if he called....
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