* Posts by J. Cook

521 posts • joined 16 Jul 2007

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Arm Inside: Is Apple ready for the next big switch?

J. Cook
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Joke

I have nothing to add to this discussion except...

... the title of a song from the movie "The Lion King":

It's the Ciiiiiirrrrccllle of life!!!

*bows*

Amusingly enough, the POWER range of CPUs are still in production; IIRC, we are looking at getting a new iSeries here at [REDACTED] to replace the POWER5 based ones that are nearing the end of their support lifespan with ones running on POWER8 processors. (I think) We also had a few POWER6 boxes running around a couple years ago; even though they took 20 minutes to get to the point where you could turn them on, they ran FAR faster than the machines they replaced, even with AIX running on them (and the various vendor specific programs that were programmed in *shudder* BASIC!)

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HP Inc – the no-drama one – is actually doing fine with PCs, printers

J. Cook
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Ah, printers...

I dunno; If HP Ink can maybe knock off with the whole 'let's put a timebomb in our firmware updates that kills the use of third-party ink and toner' shenanigans, I might be inclined to start recommending them again. Oh, and either dropping the price of the damn carts, or increasing the amount of ink/toner in them to account for it.

That could also be just the consumer market; I'm more likely to buy a refurbished ex-business printer next time around. (that, and business class printers don't necessarily require a super special print driver...)

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

J. Cook
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Re: dot matrix

My first job was with a credit union that used two part NCR paper for their receipts, printed on an Okidata 320 printer. those things were (and still are!) tanks.

In the time I was at that job (~two years) I learned how to do a complete tear down and rebuild of the original model (in all of it's iterations) and the (new at the time) 320 turbo model.

The most common thing to fail on those were the print heads and that finicky white gear clipped to the stepper that turned the main feed roller- on the really well used models, there was a visible line where the stepper gear engaged the white gear, with the teeth of the white gear getting all chewed up. Fortunately, those were cheap parts, so we bought a bunch of them and as we got the older ones in for repair that turned into a standard step in the process. the reason why it was finicky was because the gear was held on to it's shaft by three fingers, and if you were careful with an exacto, you could get the old one off without breaking them. (had to do that for the occasion where the printer had a total failure in one of the controller boards and we broke them down for spare parts.)

That was twenty years ago. even though the credit union's turned over all the customer facing hardware and use thermal paper for receipts like the rest of the world, I'm sure there's a handful of the buggers still chugging away in a back office somewhere...

Beer, because I feel old now. :)

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J. Cook
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Re: backward compatibility NOT a thing with Micro-shaft

That was going to be my response as well; get an Okidata 320SuperMegaUltraTurbo (or whatever the hell the current iteration of the 320 model is), and just run with it. bloody things are tanks, and simple enough to rebuild when they do finally wear out after running through a pallet or three of three-part paper.

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Why Boston Dynamics' backflipping borg shouldn't scare you

J. Cook
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Terminator

Pleased to be flipping out!

I, for one, welcome our new robotic parkour overlords.

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Drone maker DJI left its private SSL, firmware keys open to world+dog on GitHub FOR YEARS

J. Cook
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I may be a neophyte CA admin (I'm good with basic care and feeding and whatnot, but for anything super complex I call to someone in who uses that hat day in day out) and even *I* know that you guard your private certificate keys heavily, and restrict who has access to them.

and the NDA shenanigans? that's not surprising at all given a few assumptions. (the small chunks of it that were in the PDF look a *lot* like 'schmuck bait' to me.)

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Metal 3D printing at 100 times the speed and a twentieth of the cost

J. Cook
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Re: Inject printers cheaper than Laser printers

Keep in mind on the 4/4+ (and their m variants) you'll need to drop in a maintenance kit every ~110,000 pages or thereabouts at roughly ~$120 USD. that'll keep it running like the tank that it is. (that breaks down to roughly a dollar per brick of 500 pages of paper)

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Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

J. Cook
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Too late- Unicom bought USR in 2013.

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Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

J. Cook
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One of the areas that has been used for testing is downtown Tempe (one of the satellite cities in the Metro Phoenix area), which houses Arizona State University. Lots of traffic in that down town area, and some fiddly streets to navigate around to boot.

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J. Cook
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Go

Greater Phoenix driver here, and I can say 'Well... Sort of."

The central Phoenix area (aka downtown) is pretty jammed during business days during the start of rush hour (~5 am or thereabouts) to early evening (~8-9 pm) most days, unless there's a sports event or something else going on. then it can be moderate traffic until midnight.

The outer cites (Tempe, Socttsdale, Glendale, Mesa, etc.) each have a similar downtown area with similar traffic density issues. (Mesa is especially egregious because they plonked a bloody rail line down the middle of it for our mass transit system.)

During the day time outside of rush hour, the feeder streets are largely empty, and the main thoroughfares have light to moderate traffic on them.

The freeways combine the 'fish in a barrel' density of California roads, the 'devil may care' attitude of New York drivers, and the 'I'm too old to be driving but I'll be safe in the leftmost lane' insanity of seasonal drivers and tourists. I don't think a machine would stand a chance in that zoo.

The main strength we have is that our streets are laid out in a mostly grid arrangement, with a few exceptions for topology and the odd railroad line that existed before the city became a sprawling metropolis.

I know that Waymo's main competitor, Uber, has been driving their little fleet of autonomous cars in a set pattern around the Tempe area. I've not really been paying attention, but the code that runs them seems to be competent enough, and the drivers appear to be largely polite or at least disinterested around them.

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SSL spy boxes on your network getting you down? But wait, here's an IETF draft to fix that

J. Cook
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Re: Poxy Proxy

@druck: those proxies are misconfigured, then. Or they were configured by someone who didn't know better.

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J. Cook
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Re: Proxy Admins Will Block

@GnuTzu: And you've just written about 80% of my reply.

We use transparent proxy servers at my place of employ as well, along with DLP features on our mail gateways; I can guarantee you that it firmly falls under the category of 'network security' rather than 'data snooping'- as the admin of the devices, I nether want or need to know what the browsing habits of my fellow ~1500-2000 co-workers are, nor do I care. What I do care about is if a machine is trying to talk to a CnC server because it's been 0wned, or if someone is trying ti exfiltrate company sensitive data out.

Our employees know this, because it's part of the information security agreement they have to sign before we give them their network credentials on their second day.

(and yeah- there are a good number of people that use their work emails for non-work business. We partly tolerate it because most of the offenders don't go overboard with it.)

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Fat-fingered Level 3 techie reduces internet to level zero: Glitch knocks out connections

J. Cook
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RE: Level 3 is one of the trunk roads...

More like a series of tubes.

I know that one of the companies that Level 3 borged some years ago boasted having it's own transit traffic infrastructure from Tokyo to London. I used to work for said company nearly twenty years ago, and we had a few 'whoopsie' moments like that. as an example:

On of the router jockeys goofed one fine day and reconfigure an access router's default route to one of the customer's connection. Fortunately, the router crashed and rebooted before he could commit the configuration, but it was still a goof. A sign was put over his desk that said "We bring the Internet TO YOU!" as punishment. :D

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Microsoft slowly closes Outlook Premium's door while Office 365 winks at you across the street

J. Cook
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Re: Bait and Switch

... Except that Exchange On-Prem is a Microsoft product, and a damned expensive one at that all things considered.

and DAGs add complexity, increased storage costs (not to mention power and rack space) to offset the HA and 'easy' maintenance of them. (sort of- pushing a cumulative update is annoying, but one that can be done with little to no downtime)

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Robot takes the job of sitting on your arse

J. Cook
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Re: Typical robots - half a job done

that's easily accomplished with a small spray unit installed in an (in)appropriate place and misting out a product known as 'liquid a$$' (the sweary version is the actual name of the product- seriously!), which should cover the smell factor.

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Tech giant Citrix, sync 'n' share startup Egnyte fire lawsuits at each other

J. Cook
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Go

Never mind me...

... I'll be over here munching on popcorn and watching the lawyers make out like the bandits they are. :D

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Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

J. Cook
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Coat

As I was reading the article, I kept (intentionally) mis-pronouncing the name of the planet, putting emphasis on the first two letters.

Maturity: I've heard of it.

*glances at the two very large bouncers that have appeared next to him* I'm going, let me get my coat.

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

J. Cook
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Re: That

"The thing that clues me in to "internal candidate" roles is the qualifications/certifications or other bits of paper the "intern^H^H^H^H^Hdeal" candidate should possess - usually the exact combination the "chosen one" already has under their belt."

Or, they are trying to replace a guy they let go or left, but tried to get back only to find that the guy either immediately got a job somewhere else and/or told them to take a long walk off a short pier.

Those indicators include things like multiple years of experience on a combination of extremely esoteric hardware, software, and skill sets. (usually for items that are 'legacy' PBX systems, the ad-hoc scripting system the last person was using to manage/interact with it, etc.)

No, never seen anything like that. :D

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GE goes with Apple: Not the Transformation you were looking for, Satya?

J. Cook
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"OSX for PC"...

Apple officially tried that a number of years ago, and it very nearly killed them. (that was before the second coming of Jobs, IIRC.)

Unofficially, since Macs are running on intel hardware, it was possible to bully OSX into installing and running on a non-apple machine. Not sure if that's still possible now, but in theory one can do it.

What I'd like to see is something like centralized management of multiple macs, something akin to Group Policy and SCCM for application deployment/patch management functionality.

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

J. Cook
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Re: Every day's a school day

a number of desktops using the onboard intel video processor do that too; it's a fun prank to play on people.

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BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

J. Cook
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Re: Ah!!

IIRC, they also did that for fuel that was ultimately destined for use in a non-moving engine, like generators and whatnot.

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J. Cook
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Re: emergency stop. Hmmm.

That, and some numpty thought that bolting an entire programming API (including all the requisite knobs for data interchange) into what should be a lightweight program for generating pretty pretty pictures of the data center was a grand idea.

(either that, or it's the other way around- I'm not sure, all I know is that it sucks down processor like nobodies business, and is slow as mud even when dealing with an empty page.)

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

J. Cook
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Joke

Re: Hire my dad.

... I thought it was Robert!

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RDX removable disk has ransomware protection begging to be bypassed

J. Cook
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Re: There was something newsworthy there

The Netapp's Snapshot feature created data snapshots that could be read by windows client's using the Shadow Copy functionality in Vista and later (i.e. the 'previous versions' tab), but were forced read-only by the filer head. To my knowledge, there was no way or setting those to read-write.

Not 100% certain on an actual windows file server using shadow copy- I've heard second- and third- hand rumors of malware and virii being able to trash shadow copies, but nothing first hand. (thankfully)

YMMV, obviously, check with the vendor of your storage appliance/system for official 'word of god' regarding features and capabilities, etc. etc. etc. :)

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J. Cook
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That's kind of ridiculous for a software write blocker.

According to the white paper, this product specifically is used for 'compliance archiving' and other situations where data needs to be archived in an immutable form, but allow for fast and random access once mounted. And the RDXLock software has to be used in order to read the data back. This implies possibly some form of encryption, or some proprietary filesystem?

I can achieve the same effect with a disk dock, a handful of drives, and software that encrypts the data being put on the drives. (assuming the same software is also used to decrypt and read the drives later.) and for a lot less money.

I can see this being useful with companies that have already adopted RDX as a backup medium or archival medium; I don't see a good cost benefit if one is switching from, say, LTO or other types of offline /archival media.

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Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

J. Cook
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Go

Re: Throw away those cheap mains leads...

While that is a bit over the top, the lead position is still taken by the $1100+ 1.5 meter Audioquest Diamond Ethernet cable. (or the $10,000 12 meter one that this very site mentioned two years ago.)

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J. Cook
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Re: As the old, old saying goes...

"then what do you use for a PHB that is rapidly killing the company ? Cricket bat, base ball bat, rubber paddle to the balls ?"

All three, starting with the one that delivers the least amount of pain, ending with the lethal one.

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J. Cook
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Pint

Re: Common English words with very different meanings.....

"giving this an IT bent, router has a rude meaning in Oz so they pronounce it rowter

Router (pronouncer rowter) is a power tool that routs.

Router (pronounced rooter) is a piece of network hardware that routes."

And here in the USA, a rooter is a device that cleans out sewer pipes that have gotten clogged because some muppet kept pouring grease down the sink.

There's also a business called "roto-rooter" which had a catchy advertisement jingle back in the day as well; When I worked for [ISP] some years ago, we had a version of it that went "Get a cisco rooter, that's the name! And away go your packets, down the drain."

It's not quite beer o'clock over here, but I need one.

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Is it the right time to virtualize?

J. Cook
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Yeah, this article is kind of old hat.

But it was mercifully free of any blatant advertising. :)

I would like to doubly emphasis 'design the environment BEFORE YOU START.'

I could probably write up a forum post with at least my recommendations and point of view from owning the virtualization environment at my company for the past five years and two hardware iterations.

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J. Cook
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Re: Not always

There's another compelling reason to virtualize: Business Continuity / Disaster recovery.

There's at least two applications that I'm aware of (VMware's Site Recovery Manager, and Hypervisor agnostic Zerto) that basically keep a spun down replica of your production machines synchronized to 'warm' DR site. The downside is that you need a reasonably decent pipe sized for your workload, and storage to hold the replica at the DR site. It also requires a warm DR site, as the site needs to have live hosts, storage, and a couple VMs to handle the replication nuts n bolts. Once it's configured and running properly, it's a wonder to behold- our annual test went from a full day to about 90 minutes to spin up a fail-over test, and another couple -three hours for the application owners to do their testing.

We started to virtualize our environment 8 years ago, and did a hard push four years ago, and haven't looked back.

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The URL of sandwich: Microsoft Office blogs redirect snafu foils users

J. Cook
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Fresh Install of windows 7...

... and Unfortunately, to get it to work properly, you had to jump through a loooong list of hoops to get there. There was a reddit article (I think) on the exact steps needed to take on a fresh build, but some judicious google searching should point you in the appropriate direction, along with downloading a *giant* update bundle which is pretty much the never-released SP2.

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NetApp scraps first day of Insight conf talks at Mandalay Bay after terrorist guns down 59

J. Cook
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I'd like to put in my pennies and mention that more people die from diabetes every day in the US than firearms. (Or heart disease. Or cancer.)

The US has an absolutely crap health care system. If you compare it to the US mental health care, however, it's positively angelic.

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US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears

J. Cook
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Boffin

The picture is a screen cap of the main bad guy from the first film titled "Total Recall"; you've nailed it right on the head there. :D

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Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

J. Cook
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Re: A real scenario I'd like to see in action

.. single track each direction, or single track period? I've dealt with both, it adds an interesting flavor to driving. :D

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J. Cook
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Re: Get rid of the real cause of traffic congestion

While that would be absolutely hilarious in my part of the world, except that the fuel efficiency on those monsters is rated in litres per kilometer, and they are pretty noisy.

That, and I'd probably get a police escort the first couple times I pulled that stunt, both the local PD near my residence, and the local PD near my work. Maybe.

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J. Cook
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Re: Crybabies

By sensors, meaning the ones built into the car already? most of the vehicles in the US that insurers put those devices into are OBD-II compliant, which means that all the insurer has to do is ship the insuree a box that plugs into the diagnostic port. 'least that's what one of the companies I looked at does. Not worth the discount, TBH.

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At last, someone's taking Apple to task for, uh, not turning on iPhone FM radio chips

J. Cook
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@mephistro: Yep, that's our liar in chief. *shakes head sadly*

Don't blame me, I sure as hell didn't vote for him.

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J. Cook
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Re: How does an FM radio "save lives"?

... Except that SMS messages have no guarantee of delivery. There is an exception, though: Most smartphone in the US are capable of receiving wireless emergency alerts (unless you've gone in and turned them off; they are turned on by default). These are smilar to SMS messages, but go through a different system and have priority over data and voice traffic. Unfortunately, it's not a mandatory thing, so participation varies by carrier.

Presumably, FM radio would be able to do emergency broadcast alerts, which is what was used prior to everyone having a handheld computer that's connected to a wireless data network...

Oh and also, it's entirely possible for cell coverage to get swamped, overwhelmed, etc. My personal experience with that was 9/11 attacks, and just about everyone still alive in NYC tried to make cell phone calls all at once- the result of that was the cell network taking a pub break.

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Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy 'login details leaked'

J. Cook
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Gartner reports...

... are worth less that the bog paper we have in the washrooms here. and less useful as they are all digital.

'least, that's my opinion on that company. (How else would Symantec be ranked number for all these years for corporate Anti-virus?)

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Scared of that new-fangled 'cloud'? Office 2019 to the rescue!

J. Cook
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Re: And everything will ether have a GUI update or functions removed.

I implemented those using the stock E2010/2013 interface to insert a sig block in everyone's mail- what was supposed to be a quick n simple task turned into a multi-month debacle and a lot of pain and suffering for me from our user base. (some of which howled rather loudly that we were forcing a standardized signature on them)

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Helium's for balloons and squeaky voices, not this 10TB Toshiba beast

J. Cook
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Re: Nice storage you got there ...

+ MANY.

RAID is ***NOT*** a backup method. (Not even raid 1 or raid 10!) All RAID does is provide for a level of data integrity and performance.

Sure, you can have your primary storage be a raid 1, 5 or 10 array- as long as there's a drive that you are backing that data up to on a regular basis, you'll regret it when a drive dies (or the controller! I've seen that happen too!) or the OS/controller/NAS appliance decides to eat the array, or you have a virus put it's drooling mouth on it and trash everything.

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J. Cook
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Joke

Re: Question

... but what if you are a priest already? or is that a case of finding a high priest, or a pope? :)

In all seriousness, though, there's a balance that will need to be struck between a bunch of factors and what's acceptable for the end user.

Another thing to factor into the calculation is noise and power consumption; more spindles means the appliance will drink more power, generate more heat, and need fans to dissipate that heat.

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SQL Server 2017: What's new, what's missing on Linux, and what's next?

J. Cook
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Re: Free forever!

Not really free- in my company's case, it's part of our enterprise agreement. And we pay dearly for it, I can tell you that.

I am supremely disappointed in microsoft for switching to a 'per core' licensing model for SQL server, as opposed to a per socket. (and it's really complicated- it's not how many virtual cpus you've allocated to the VM running SQL server, it's the number of cores on the hardware running the VM. (Obviously they are taking the Oracle model of licensing))

If you are _really_ into pain and suffering, you can always do 'per seat' user licensing, that model is still in effect as well.

This is the same company that decided that for running a single virtual desktop on Hyper-V, you'd need no less than four licenses/CALs: one for the server, one for Hyper-V, one for the VM, and one for the client. (They may have merged the Hyper-V license back into the server, but still... I thought the idea behind VDI was to simplify licensing costs, not complicate then to the point where the account executive has to call in a specialist who still gets it wrong...)

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Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

J. Cook
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I usually add the facilities and security groups to that list, the former because they keep the roof from falling on my head (most of the time) and the latter because they'll bend some of the more petty rules for you when you are nice to them. :D

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Nothing to see here, folks, literally... Citrix mysteriously pulls NetScaler downloads

J. Cook
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Um...

Cisco != Citrix. There's nothing in the CCleaner compromise that references citrix or netscaler.

Granted, Citrix seems to be having their own problems, as the article mentions...

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Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware

J. Cook
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Mushroom

Re: Hardware Refresh

Oh that's the other thing- you can't completely turn off the telemetry, EVEN ON ENTERPRISE AND SERVER.

The best you can do is set it to 'security' and hope for the best, unless you've decided to perform surgery on the install and neuter the telemetry components, will will quite likely break stuff, or packet-sniffed the telemetry packets and blocked them at the firewall.

Oh, did I mention that (on server 2016, at least) if you are deploying the OS image per standards, the telemetry resets from 'security' to 'basic' when you sysprep the box?

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J. Cook
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Microshaft's official response to that is 'buy the enterprise version of windows 10', which is far more expensive then the professional version, even if you have a SA agreement or do a crap-tonne of business with them.

And even then, I'm still not sure if the 'auto-update, auto-stage,auto-deploy' features behave once you have the system connected to an in-house server like SCCM or a WSUS cache.

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J. Cook
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Flame

Re: Intel Baked Features...

Microsoft has done that with windows 7 already- certain updates will refuse to install on windows 7 if it's running on gen 7 intel procs.

said updates are security updates, too, which really pisses us corporate types off, because now we have to tell our box shufflers to put a specific gen 6 processor in the machine, IF THEY STILL CARRY THEM.

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Manchester plod still running 1,500 Windows XP machines

J. Cook
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Re: There's a bank in Manchester

@Danny 14: You are thinking Windows XP Embedded? (which is out of support already) or Windows Embedded Standard 2009? (which is the final version of XP Embedded, which goes out of support in April 2018)

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