* Posts by David Woodhead

33 posts • joined 8 Dec 2012

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

David Woodhead

Re: They should stick to mice and keyboards

@updraft102

Over the two years, I probably exchanged the mouse 15 times. It would last a little over a month, and then the side button would break internally and come out ...

Just before the warranty ran out, the store apparently discontinued the mouse, so my last exchange didn't work. They ended up refunding the purchase price of the mouse instead! I can't remember if they refunded the cost of the warranty too, but I ended up getting a couple of years of mouse rental for at most the cost of the warranty ...

So how much of your life, to the nearest hour, did you devote to getting two years free use of an unacceptable mouse, rather than one which performed as you wanted?

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

David Woodhead

Re: Important 'cause...

Although I do agree, the exact words used when I realised what was about to happen was "oh F***", then had the crash. Not the most eloquent of potential final words ...

But certainly the most popular in the history of the world in those circumstances.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

David Woodhead

Whatever next, removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

Zeroist!

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

David Woodhead

Shriek!

In ICL-world in George 3 it was known as a shriek, and denoted a temporary file.

CE !

AS *LP0,!

LO :LIB.PROGRAM FRED

RM

ER !

Create a temporary file; assign it to printer 0; load FRED; run it; delete the temporary file.

Blimey, that dates me.

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

David Woodhead

Can't you just send the wife out to do the shopping?!

All my best

Sid the sexist.

If you're referring to the one from Viz, I don't think Sid is going to find a wife any day soon.

Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

David Woodhead

Re: Cash is King

£100 is indeed a fairly large note, and I’ve never seen one in real life, outwith a bank.

You've never seen one in real life, full stop. They haven't existed since 1945.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

David Woodhead

Re: He was the top salesman in the group

* The problem for many companies is they fail to understand sales is as much about relationships as it is technical competence. Both are needed but a good relationship with the customer will get sales. Technical competence might get you in the door but a good relationship will keep the door open. *

Completely the wrong way round, in my opinion. The bullshitting salesman may get you in there in the first place, but unless you can subsequently back it up with technical competence the relationship isn't going to last.

Beyond code PEBCAK lies KMACYOYO, PENCIL and PAFO

David Woodhead

Sarf London

Back in the day (mid-80s) we had a support guy from that area with a love of cars. Although probably a nice man who loved kittens, he could be a real PITA. In his honour we created a password of INGSOTRATTONS which could be remembered by the phrase: I'm Not Going South Of The River At This Time Of Night Squire.

If you're not from South London and never take a cab (99% of the population) this won't mean much to you, but if you are then it should resonate.

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

David Woodhead
FAIL

Re: Brings back bad memories

"its "screenshots & arrows" all the way down. "

Nonsense! Anyone know it's elephants all the way down!

Turtles! It's turtles all the way down!. The elephants are just on top (or the GUI as we call it nowadays).

Microsoft to rebuild Redmond campus, including cricket pitch

David Woodhead

Re: Who the hell really cares?

@Who the hell really cares?

It'll always be called "Redmond", regardless.

And yes, you snarky lot, many of us Yanks appreciate and play Cricket.

Well, for values of 'many' between 0% and 1% ...

Stick to the script, kiddies: Some dos and don'ts for the workplace

David Woodhead

Re: Something missing?

@Pete 2:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the single most important aspect of a script that it actually works?

This times 1,000,000. When I did my fairly simple end of first year project at UMIST (under Jeff Rohl, one of the creators of Atlas Autocode), he taught me what was possibly the most useful thing I ever learned about software development. To quote very loosely: 'You can write the most elegantly structured software, with reams of helpful comments, but if it crashes or doesn't do what it's required to do then it's worthless.'

I owe him a great deal just for this.

NHS WannaCrypt postmortem: Outbreak blamed on lack of accountability

David Woodhead

Re: Easy fix

Just get rid of all your Windows machines and convert to LINUX. And before the flames get too high, there are plenty of application that will run on Linux.

And plenty that won't. That's the problem.

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

David Woodhead

Re: Dilbert's PHB, shurely?

Back when token ring first came in, our company unfortunately decided to standardize on it before the many bugs had been worked out of it. Most of the time it simply didn't work.

We got round this by having a 1.44Mb floppy with 'TOKEN' written on it in large letters, and skimming it around the office to whoever needed it. Not the fastest transfer protocol, but a lot quicker than waiting for the network to come up.

Toyota's entertaining the idea of Linux in cars

David Woodhead
Thumb Down

Re: This shows up a lot in how smooth an engine sounds when it's idling.

No. An A series engine will not idle at 200 rpm, or anything near it. I've owned a Morris Minor Series 2, two 1100s, a standard Mini and a 1275cc MG Midget, all of which could idle at 800 - 1,000 rpm but not lower.

Your rev counter needed some serious recalibration.

BT agrees to legal separation of Openreach

David Woodhead

Great staff: crap organisation

In my experience, the OpenReach field operatives are excellent: they know what they're doing, and they're prepared to work outside their remit to fix people's problems when the limits of their remit are obviously stupid.

It's the infrastructure within which they have to work which is a complete pile of pants.

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

David Woodhead

Re: a long time ago, in another job ...

What gender(s) were 'everyone'? What gender was the intern?

We need to know these things.

Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

David Woodhead

Re: Holding post

Re new Windows 7 SP1 installation:

1 Install W7 without any internet connection enabled

2 Set the Windows Update option to 'Never download automatically'

3 Install the following updates manually, in this order (download them on another PC)

• KB3020369

• KB3177467

• KB3172605

• KB3207752

4 Connect to the internet

5 Search for updates - shouldn't take more than 10 minutes

6 Give thanks to http://wu.krelay.de/en/ from whom this advice springs

Have a nice day.

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

David Woodhead

Re: The weirdness that is Microsoft

@Terry 6

I love you and want to have your babies. The fact that I'm in my 60s and male is a mere detail.

Is it just us? Why was there no non-ribbon option after Office 2003? Why does a Windows 10 installation need six different partitions on the HDD? Why has UEFI been so slewed to Microsoft's pre-installed OS that getting your BIOS to accept anything else is a nightmare? Why can't the right panel in Windows 7 Explorer stay in sync when you navigate the left panel with the keyboard? And while I'm on my pet hobby-horse, what happened to the right-click search function after XP? I've paid good money to buy a third party add-on just to get this back. I could go on and on, but it just raises my blood pressure.

Looking on the bright side, in 30 years time we'll all be dead and no-one will know how things used to be and should have continued to be. And they won't care, because they'll all have been absorbed into the MS Borg.

Right: time for my tea. Hope I've cheered you all up a bit.

Microsoft: Our AI speech recognition mangles your words the least

David Woodhead

Speech recognition? That's 60s stuff.

Nobody talks to their computer.

Really, if you do anything meaningful on your PC, you don't talk to it. That's because if you do you'll seriously piss off the people you're working with or those sitting around you. And it's slow.

The technology was pretty much sorted in the 1960s. Yes, that's around 50 years ago. So why hasn't it taken off? Because 1) it's inefficient; 2) people don't want to do it; and 3; it pisses off anyone who can hear you.

That's all.

The least stressful job in the US? Information security analyst, duh

David Woodhead

Re: What a coincidence!

"How much stress does a telephone sanitizer have?"

These guys are protecting us from myriads of ghastly diseases that can be caught from a telephone. They're exposed to dozens of them every day. They should receive danger money.

Lights! Camera! Infraction! Filmmakers behind 117 million robocalls to shift DVDs

David Woodhead

Good luck with that

By the time that this is resolved, do we really think that there will be any money left to pay any fines and / or compensation?

I don't think so.

NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

David Woodhead

Re: Revealing sources

Re Revealing sources

Well, precisely. So why do they need to collect any information in the first place, rather than just claiming that that's what the 'person of interest' has been doing? It doesn't matter whether it's true or not, as they're never going to be called out on it in any effective way.

11m Chinese engulfed by 'Airpocalypse' at 4000% of safe pollution levels

David Woodhead

They're burning brown coal

The carbon emissions of the whole of the EU, let alone the UK, are as nothing compared with those of China's brown coal power stations. I completely believe in the contribution of man-made emissions to global warming, but anything that the EU can persuade its consumers do in this respect is irrelevant compared with China's output. Ditto Africa and North America. And China isn't going to cut back any time soon.

That's why all current attempts to reduce carbon emissions are doomed to failure.

Discuss.

Anti-food startup Soylent pours sugar daddies' $1.5m into its gloopy mix

David Woodhead

You're having a larf

This has to be a joke. Surely no-one is going to put their hard earned pennies into this.

How long do people think this company is going to be around? And in any case, who wants to eat gloop for the rest of their life?

I have an unbeatable deal on London Bridge (or any other bridge for that matter) for those of you looking for an alternative investment ...

Expert chat: The end of Windows XP and IE6

David Woodhead

Re: IE 6

You can install IE7 or IE8 on XP, you know. They may not be your browsers of choice, but they're a lot better than IE6, and if your friend really likes IE why not indulge him? Don't drag him out of his comfort zone just because of your personal preferences.

Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

David Woodhead

Sounds like a guy we had at ICL (remember them?) in charge of testing user interfaces. When a software release was presented to him, the first thing he'd do was just slap his hand down on the keyboard a few times and see what happened. That got rid of about 50% of them with no further effort ...

Apple 'iWatch' trademark filing hints Cook's make-or-break moment looms

David Woodhead

Re: Make or break the whole company with a frigging watch?

Reminds me of the launch of the Amstrad eMailer in the UK in the late 1990s. The disappointment trashed the share price to an extent from which it never recovered.

Network Rail axes hundreds of tech suppliers

David Woodhead

Legacy systems?

They're still going to have hundreds of legacy systems running over the next few years. And if I were the supplier of one of these who's just been told they're not worthy to bid for any new business, I'd tell Network Rail where to stick their next support request. (Hint: the sun doesn't shine up there).

Industry execs: Network admins an endangered species

David Woodhead

Oh, please ...

So you're trying to manage the business critical network infrastructure of a major organisation, and at the same time please your line manager by saving some money through firing network administrators who have a bit of experience and know what they're doing.

You do this by reading "HP is working on automated virtual application networks that treat a network as a unified pool of resources rather than as an agglomeration of individual devices" and thinking 'Gosh, that sounds impressive - I'll bet the farm on that one".

Well, good luck with that. The next time that a problem occurs which isn't covered by the "automated virtual application network's" set of problem solving menu screens, who you gonna call? GhostBusters?

Sometimes I despair.

Gridstore does classic founder-to-CTO jive

David Woodhead

What?

Paragraph 1:

"Scale-out filer storage start-up Gridstore's founder is shuffling sideways to the CTO spot as his firm recruits a new CEO."

Is there any chance that these articles could be written in English so that the rest of us who don't speak gibberish could have a fighting chance of understanding them?

Thank you.

Google Apps goes TITSUP for millions - users REJOICE on Twitter

David Woodhead

Oops ...

In the article:

"The company said it was investigating reports of disruption to its service and claimed that only 0.007 per cent of its users - which would amount to millions of people - were affected by Gmail and other online properties going titsup."

Let's assume that just 2 million people were affected. If they represent 0.007 per cent of Google's users, that would mean that their user base amounts to approximately 285,000,000,000 people. As the population of the Earth is around 7,000,000,000, there must be an awful lot of Zillons from the planet Tharg signed up to Google Apps as well.

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

David Woodhead

Re: My excuse...

Ah, so that's why people use Macs. I knew there had to be some good reason ...

Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

David Woodhead

Jeff Rohl

When I studied Computation at UMIST in the mid 70s (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, now sadly subsumed into the University of Manchester), I had the privilege of being taught by Jeff Rohl, one of the creators of Atlas Autocode - a kind of souped-up Algol specifically created for the Atlas.

I don't think that I ever worked directly on the Atlas - by that time UMRCC was primarily using ICL 1900s and its CDC 7600 and 6000 for university support services. I remember using teletype access to the CDC 6000 to develop a Pascal program to give you optimal strategies when playing blackjack, although needless to say this wasn't part of my course or even my final year project.

Anyway: Jeff Rohl was one of the finest teachers I ever encountered in my life. Soon after I left UMIST he returned to teach in his native Australia (Adelaide I believe), and I hope he achieved his ambition of conducting a Beethoven chorale performed by a top choir and orchestra. The one thing he taught me above all else, despite being a firm advocate of formally well designed and structured programming techniques was: if your program doesn't do what is set out in its specification then it's worthless, regardless of how well structured it may be. This was a most enlightened view from an academic, but served me well throughout my career.

Don't know if you're still with us Jeff, but thank you anyway.

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