* Posts by Down not across

1216 posts • joined 21 Mar 2013


Accused hacker Lauri Love loses legal bid to reclaim seized IT gear

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Re: Is this how far we have sunk?

Even though I was released after a couple of hours interrogating, and all charges dropped a few days later - it took a year for them to return my broken and dismembered equipment.

Criminal Damage Act 1971 should apply there. Whilst they may be entitled to disassemble, surely they would need to return (especially since charges were dropped) anything they confiscated, in same condition they were when confiscated.

I know. Wishful thinking.

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

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Re: BBS's - those were the days

I used to run (or help run) few TBBS systems back in the 80s on Kaypros (2, 10). Later on I ran the MS-DOS version as well for a company for their support.

I did also run Waffle on UNIX with a dial up UUCP link for mail and news. Needless to say access to email or Usenet wasn't particularly widespread in late 80s, early 90s.

Those were the days indeed when incoming text flowed in at 300bps, so you read it more or less realtime.

Oracle throws toys out pram again, tells US claims court: Competing for Pentagon cloud contract isn't fair!

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Re: "criteria in the request for proposals, which it says are "unduly restrictive""

Oracle is miffed that DoD might actually want cloudy features that its cloud offering doesn't have. Anyone who has worked with both OCI and AWS know that OCI is pretty bare bones compared to AWS.

Also, I would've thought DoD is quite within their rights to determine what they need fulfilled in the contract. If Oracle can't fullfill those requirements, then tough.

Roses are red, so is ketchup, 'naked' Huawei tells its critics to belt up

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30 years

"CSEC is saying, all right, your code base is not beautiful. You know, this is a code base that has been there for 30 years. And this is the characteristic of the communications industry.

Really? The company was founded 1987 and in the early days was pretty much PBXs etc so I'd expect the router software codebase to be much younger than that.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

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Re: Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

Of course it does as vinyl is CAV so linear velocity is much greater on the outer edge, so you have much longer distance to "encode" an amount (in time) of audio, compared to near the centre of the disc. So to think of it in digital terms, the outer edge will have much higher bitrate than inner track(s).

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Re: Holding my breath turning blue

You can pry my CLD-D925 out of my dead cold hands. I found it much more pleasant to watch than DVDs. Shame about the bit rot. I'm rather apprehensive about checking how much of my collection is still actually watchable.

Vinyl is making a comeback, maybe just maybe LD could make a comeback (without bit rot...). Well, one can dream.

Cover your NASes: QNAP acknowledges mystery malware but there's no patch yet

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Re: FreeNAS upgrade

I prefer HP Microserver with nas4free myself. Or if 4 bays is not enough, then eBay is full with quite decent second hand systems with more bays.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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Re: Yay landfill!

Who uses Garmin or TomTom GPS's these days?

I do. Yes, my Garmin does occasionally point out that maps are getting bit out of date, but not every time it is turned on. Yes, there is one "Do not use while driving" or something like that warning that pops up on power on. Tap once on screen and its good to go.

I can update the maps when I want (if new ones are available). It gets traffic via built-in FM etc. It even works as hands free kit for the phone. Oh, and it doesn't phone home.

It does of course keep some limited history on where you've been, average/top speed but those are easy enough to reset.

Sci-tech committee: UK.gov's 27-page biometrics strategy is great... as toilet paper

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Fox guarding the henhouse

That included establishing the Law Enforcement Facial Images and New Biometrics Oversight Board, which is chaired by Mike Barton, chief constable of Durham Constabulary, and has reportedly met three times.

I'm sure a chief constable will be very impartial. Not.

If the board at least did not consist of the abusers of the information, it might look bit more credible.

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC

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The very first computing book I ever bought was Rodnay Zaks' How To Program the Z80, when I was 14 or 15.

Excellent book. Much time was spent with that and a Kaypro.

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

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Re: Pi is a mini computer?

...we're well clear of the mini computer era now.



Sorry, what did you say? I can't hear you over the fans of the VAXen.. and assorted other mature computing platforms.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

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Re: Hardware mute buttons which didn't mute

At a previous job the support and sales teams had headsets (sorry, cannot remember the brand but I'd recognise them if I ever saw them again) which had a headset which could be disconnected from the adapter box and a mute button on the headset adapter box that sat on the desk next to the phone (there were 3 controls on the box, can't remember what the other two did)

Plantronics had adapter box like that that plugged betwen handset and phone. If I recall correctly one button was to switch between headset and handset, one was mute, and one was volume control.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

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Re: Wells hastogo

Kludge this, fudge that. I will never put one cent in their incapable hands...

What makes you think it is any better at any other institution?

WeWork restructuring bites El Reg hacks where it hurts as afternoon brew delayed

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Thumb Up

Re: And this..

I love it. A very important study.

If we assume that the annual rate of teaspoon loss per employee can be applied to the entire workforce of the city of Melbourne (about 2.5 million), an estimated 18 million teaspoons are going missing in Melbourne each year. Laid end to end, these lost teaspoons would cover over 2700 km—the length of the entire coastline of Mozambique1—and weigh over 360 metric tons—the approximate weight of four adult blue whales.2

That is quite staggering.

Sysadmin's three-line 'annoyance-buster' busts painstakingly crafted, crucial policy

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Re: Putting dates in names

*As it turns out, neither mv nor cp complains about copying a file over another one. I thought they did. Time to become more nervous.

Yes they do. Both of them. Have you tried with -i ?

Disclaimer: Presence and function of -i option may depend on your implementation.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

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Re: you could simply not put the creepy things in your home

The remote server is required for the quality voice recognition.

Considering old Nokia phones were quite capable of dialling a number based on what you spoke, something like Pi3 would have no trouble at all recognizing something more complex. Granted some training would be required, possibly for each person talking to it, but would that be such a bad thing? At least it wouldn't act on something it might hear on television or radio.

Ad-tech industry: GDPR complaint is like holding road builders to account for traffic violations

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Simple solution

""Nor can it be considered to prove or demonstrate that any companies making use of those taxonomies are doing so without complying with applicable EU data protection or other law," IAB Europe said."

Collecting sensitive data in the first place should just be banned. Unless there is obvious real reason for it, which advertising is not. The bloodsucking parasites shouldn't be allowed to harvest that kind of sensitive data. The usual hoarding is bad enough as it is.

Q. China just landed on its far side, the US woz there 50 years ago – now Europe wants to mine it? A. It's the Moon

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Re: Facing us?

The dark side (as in unknown side) is the hemisphere most of which is never visible from earth.

It's where the alien overlords have their base.

No. At the risk of invoking Godwin's, it is where Nazis have their base. Just don't take a smartphone with you in case they try to use it to get the Götterdämmerung going.

Dixons Carphone still counting cost of miserly mobile phone sales

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Re: Why buy from them anyway?

Much much cheaper as someone who, for his sins, likes O2 but really dislikes the expensive way in which they sell contract handsets (take out a credit agreement for this handset at RRP, take out another credit agreement for a mobile tariff).

After two years the device has been paid off and you only have airtime contract to pay for. Are you getting that with CPW, or are paying the one "convenient" bill forever until you upgrade/cancel?

Some O2 Refresh contracts, when I last looked couple of years ago, were lower TCO than buying the device outright.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

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Re: Time machine

Those are the thin-net years of Lan Manager (which was generally pants), the days before you had to make the decision of IPX/SPX Netbeui or TCP-ip depending on what server OS you had and variant of IP you were using - the pre cat5 years..

Wot, no Pathworks? You missed out all the fun then.

icon... because any of you who had the pleasure of Pathworks will need a few I think.

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

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Re: Re:No Display Detected

I know for a fact that NT4 would not boot in its default outta the box configuration if you hadn't plugged in the keyboard and mouse.

Many of us are old enough to remeber "No keyboard detected. Press F1 to continue", which was at BIOS level so entirely OS agnostic. Eventually BIOSes did offer the option on what errors to halt, so you could choose "All errors, except keyboard".

Oracle exec: Open-source vendors locking down licences proves 'they were never really open'

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Re: Author rescinds GPL license retroactivly (yes he can do that)

You rest your argument on your completely ignorant notion that OSS licensed software has been dedicated to the Public Domain. It has not.

This is an important point, that perhaps sometimes gets missed. Most OSS software is indeed not Public Domain, but licensed under more or less restrictive licenses. Copyright is retained, the license is granted for copying,modifying,using etc.

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

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Re: The room doll was removed

Your plastic pal who is "fun" to be with?

A Cherry 2000 gynoid?

Yes, you can remotely hack factory, building site cranes. Wait, what?

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Depressingly, real world is just like the game.

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

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Re: The truth will set you free

That is unlikely to do anything at all. Unless there is a line missing from the top and that is a constant definition. Variable assignments are done with ':=', and not '=' in pascal. Unless the compiler/interpreter on CDC did some funky stuff.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

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Re: tenner-a-month?

Pipex? Hmm, I suppose it could've been. Demon started out as Pipex's customer iirc.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

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SystemD makes SMF look good^Wbetter

That's true. My objection to it isn't the complexity in terms of using it. My objection is partly the complexity of its implementation, and mostly the fact that it does far, far more than it should in terms of replacing critical system components.

If they really had to (in their minds) rewrite the init, they could've just stuck to effectively porting/rewriting SMF and stopped there. Still, at least wrangling with SMF one can think "it could be worse, it could be SystemD".

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe

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Re: Am i being thick...

Running "nmap" on the IP address will give you the MAC.

Bit of an overkill, if all you want is the mac address.

arp target will give you the mac address of target. You can specify hostname or ip address as the target.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

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Re: WHAT? Mythbusters

Take apart a radio from before the miniaturised transistor was invented. Lots of valves in that.


Yeah but valve != transistor. The schematic is quite different depending if you use valves or transistors even if the final functionality of the circuit is same.


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Re: Memories

Was there ever an Olivetti that was 'standard'?

I never dealt with the M24, but the M380... AAAAARGH!

I did like the cool (especially at the time) dot matrix LCD POST display the M380 (XP something...XP9 perhaps) had.

Dev's telnet tinkering lands him on out-of-hour conference call with CEO, CTO, MD

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Re: "expect" isn't a basic utility, it's an add-on.

You can assume that someone is taking credit for your work right up until the point it stops working... then they will deny all knowledge of ever seeing it.

Ahem. I have vehemently denied ever seeing some code and having no idea about it ...until I've spotted the header revealing me as the original author. Has happened few times, and I honestly have not recognized any of the code that I had apparently written many years ago.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

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IT Angle

But does it sucks like an Electrolux?

Nothing sucks like a VAX.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

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Re: It's 2018

One morning I left the office and entered the nearby motorway. After a short distance it started to rain - and the screen smeared. I pulled back on the column "wiper" stalk to get a washer jet and nothing happened. I had to glance down at the dashboard to identify the marked knob that had that function. As I looked up a lorry had come down a slip road and changed lanes into my "safe" space.

So, why not check the impotant controls like lights,wipers,heating/blower while still parked, before embarking on you journey?

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate

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Re: But what was working?

Voice was down for many users for 10 to 12 hours, as 4G carries voice as well as data.

Yes it does, but is should fallback to 3G/2G.

Sometimes phones/cells dont fallback to older tech as they should. In that situation, it may be worth forcing the phone to 3G/2G in settings. I had an issue years ago where calls were not getting through and O2 (yeah, funny that) suggested forcing the handset to 3G which worked around the issue. Allegedly there was some issue (which persisted for some time) in the local cell(s).

Windows 10 security question: How do miscreants use these for post-hack persistence?

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You make it sound like it should require a license to use a computer: something normally used inside one's own home.

Did you read the article?

From the article:

As for protecting against this post-attack persistence problem? “Add additional auditing and GPO settings,” said Sela. The two also suggested that Microsoft allows custom security questions as well as the ability to disable the feature altogether in Windows 10 Enterprise. The presentation slides are available here (PDF). ®

...makes it quite clear it is not really about home use, but using Win 10 in corporate environment.

The hardcoding issue applies home as well of course, but as many have said (and I presume most of us do already) there is no need to give real answers to the questions.

COPPA load of that AOL! $5m fine for targeting kids with ads

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Re: $5m is Not Enough

$5m is petty cash for Verizon.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge

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Re: Accountants

The tax system files it under "compensation for loss of office", at which point it becomes a tax-free payment up to certain limits (used to be £30k, but may well have increased since then).

Still the same I think. Certainly applies to for example redundancy payments:

Payments that are made between an employer and employee are normally subject to tax as they will be described as ‘arising out of the contract of employment’ by HMRC. Ex-gratia payments are an exception to that rule and fall under a tax exemption from s.403 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 for any amounts under £30,000.00. This is because the payments made are not made for the work that has been undertaken or for a provision of services; they are a “voluntary” payment made by the employer and are “compensation for loss of employment”.

Payments in lieu of notice used to be too, but are now taxable since last April.

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

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Re: Ah, SUN's pizza boxes

Now, I personally *loved* the beautiful engineering that could be seen inside the pizza box design, but it had one b*stard of a gotcha involving a connected terminal. If you would switch it off before you disconnected, it would issue a STOP instruction to the system so it would basically be off as far as functionality is concerned.

Close but no cigar. Some, not all, serial terminals effectively send BREAK when powered off. This is usually caused by combination of the RS-232 driver and power supply causing logic low that appears as BREAK. SunOBP goes into PROM monitor on break. You can recover by typing 'go' and system should resume.

I don't know who dreamt that up, but he must have been the one to originate the BOFH DNA.

Hate to disappoint, but it is due to bad(cheap) design/engineering terminals (and many terminal/console servers) and the way they have implemented RS-232. As an example Cisco 2511 would send break, whereas 26xx/36xx/28xx/38xx with NM or HWIC async cards IIRC don't. Likewise ISTR Cyclades mostly worked. Then there are some that send break when powered ON, just to be awkward.

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

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Re: Was looking good up until the bit...

.... where we here that all 16 cores are slower than 5 cores of a Xeon.

Not everything is about speed. It is quite common for cores to be not that highly utilised for example.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

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Generous Google

"We're constantly working to improve our controls, and we'll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can must take on board," Google told Reuters.


Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

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Re: Do it in style

What car? Clearly a Tesla. Marty will still be an idiot who struggles to outrace a VW van loaded down with terrorists despite driving a vehicle capable of hitting 88 MPH in about 50 feet.

Might take bit longer than that. DMC12 was bit underpowered compared to its looks.

The movie was accurate in one way though, the original alternator was too weak and battery would end up flat if everything was turned on. Later cars did have better alternator.

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Re: Do it in style

How long would it take a 2 ton SUV to get up to 88mph?

About same time as DMC12 if the SUV is something like X5 4.4i or similar given the 2.85 litre PRV V6 only had about 130hp and 200 Nm of torque.

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

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Re: Burroughs/Unisys...

BTOS - Burroughs Technology Operating System (it was the Burroughs name for CTOS and it was also marketed under the name Starsys).

Wasn't CTOS from Convergent Technologies? I rememeber running 68K based MiniFrame and MegaFrame boxen running CTiX. Some MegaFrame I/O processor boards ran CTOS (scaled down obviously). They also came out with 80x86 based NGEN (or Burroughs B25 if you prefer) that ran CTOS. I'm talking about before Unisys bought Convergent Technologies.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

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Re: Dumb dumb dumb

are you switching phones so often that the 'i can switch my sd card between them' is genuinely a feature? or is it nice to have on that odd occasion you switch phones every other year when u upgrade?

It is not always case of how often either. I had a phone break when it dropped and hit ground in a bad way. Luckily I had any personal data, photos, Keepass database and such on the SD card. Get new phone and put the card in, wait for Google Play to redownload apps and everything was back.

So yes I am definitely in the "no SD card - no sale" camp.

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

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Lock confirmed on beacon Terra One. Message commencing.

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

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+1. In the classical period (1995-2005) being an enterprise DBA was pretty hard. You had to know your OS inside out, you had to understand how to do fast I/O and then you had to design the database, as in tune how tables should be laid out for maximal performance. Wasnae easy, cap'n.

Hear hear. I miss those days. You really ended up knowing the systems, both hardware and OS, better than most of the sysadmins.

Oracle tries to be clever and decide things for you. It does acceptably for most of the time. But not always. And being Oracle is buggy as hell. And it can get it really horribly wrong. It is also even worse piece of bloated crap than what it used to be.

All-flash or tiered is cheap so that takes care of I/O performance. Of course raw blocks weren't just for performance, it was also to bypass filesystem cache, after all you cache rows in memory anyway, but also for ensuring that writes that the database thinks have been written to disk have actually been written to disk.

Having said all that, even if everything is faster and more automatic, the data volumes and business requirements have increased too so there is still very much need for skilled DBAs. Don't forget lusers have not improved even if hardware and software may have done.

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Re: Back in the day

Anyway, it was running on NT4 and I set it to use half the available memory. I forget how much it had - 256mb or something - but completely forgot it was in 2Kb increments so setting it to 128Mb really meant 256Mb.

Yes. Because memory was specified in 2K pages just like with Sybase SQL Server/Adaptive Server Enterprise, that MS SQL Server has its roots in.

Net result was the machine booted, SQL started and immediately took all the available RAM and the whole thing blue screened. Obviously, this was whilst I was at the client site, whilst remote controlling their server which was in a data center elsewhere.

We had to get a technician out to put more RAM in the server in the end. They weren't impressed...

Or you could have just started it in minimal single-user mode with -f command line option, and then used sp_configure to resize memory to more acceptable size.

Sybase on UNIX of course would be even easier as configuration is always written to a text file on filesystem, but I digress.

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

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Re: And even older.

Could've sworn DPS6 was mini-computer (even if it may have taken a rack or two), and DPS8 was a mainframe.

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...one of the very few reliable network cards (it's been too long - I forgot what worked on that front).

I found that 3Com Etherlink (in its various incarnations) used to be fairly safe bet. Good driver support. DEC Tulip based cards were also fine. Mostly, but some implementations were not ideal shall we say.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: On a larger scale

The largest of those is a Silicon Graphics Challenge L ('deskside' chassis the size of a small fridge). Also a bunch of other SGI and Sun workstations from the 90s, all in various states of disrepair and I think none actually working.

I'm in that boat. Minus the Challenge L, but I do have various old HP 3000,9000, DEC (VAX,MIPS,Alpha) and Data General workstations and servers. Accompanying all that, is bunch of terminals, cabling, old network kit starting from early says of ethernet. There is also myriad of smaller,handheld and Z80 and x86 based stuff.

I should clear out. But I actually like the old stuff. The old stuff had soul. Maybe that's why they play tricks if you try to get rid of them.


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