* Posts by Hazmoid

86 posts • joined 11 Mar 2014


Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late


Re: Soon never seems soon enough

This sounds very similar to the recent issue with a Cybercurrency archive where the only person with the passcode for the external wallet (Containing $millions ) died, taking the password with him to the grave. I suspect management is currently trying to contact him via medium :)

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock


Hmm, I will admit that I have been anti Apple for many years, since I had to support a number of stuck up graphic designers who insisted they needed Macs, even when we showed them a Windows machine that did the same work for half the price. I will admit that the Apple gear was nice from the point of view of the software and hardware working together nicely. However I have a friend who is an Apple Fanboi, and is happy to have the latest versions of their hardware. Even he feels that the new hardware is out of the range of most people and because Apple insist that their RRP is the only price for which their hardware can be sold, they are rarely if ever discounted. This means that the whole point of "It just works" is lost on those that could most benefit from this, i.e. everyone's technophobic uncle or Grandma Mae.

I personally have an Android phone and avoid even the Applefied version of that OS (I will not buy Oppo phones for that reason).

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals


I remember the school of Chemistry at UWA always stunk of Hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas) because of students mucking around.

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'


Re: It's not really about the laptop.

Thank you for recognising the problems to be had by people on the spectrum. My son is a great example of an ASD person who is very good at the technical stuff but can lose it at the smallest irritation. Many managers have so many calls on their time that using kid gloves to handle one special person can be overwhelming, even if they do have some training. There are many undiagnosed ASD people out there, who are usually written off as unusual or quirky, but usually they fit right in with all us other misfits in the IT department.

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger


cisco experience

Got an interview with a Nonprofit that I had used previously for my autistic son, and went and had a very pleasant interview in the garden with the IT manager. Turns out my Cisco experience (I have configured phones on a VOIP system and set up Cisco switches and routers in a training environment) was vastly overstated, so after the IT manager gave me the details of what they wanted, I had to turn to him and apologise for wasting his time as I didn't think I would be able to fulfill the role.

When I got on the phone to the recruiter afterwards, I did mention that my skill set was a few steps down from what they actually wanted.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day


My storage cupboard of tech

Many 5 1/4 inch floppies, 3.5" floppies, numerous IDE and Sata HDD , a number of cordless keyboards and mice, complete with usb/ps2 connected wireless dongles, various telephone cables and rj11 adapters,

Laptops and ones that are spare parts only.

My wife keeps asking me to sort through it but I am loathe to throw anything out, having experienced the "have you got?" question, days after the council rubbish truck has been.

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage


early morning shenanigans

One of the joys of working for a Stockbroker in Perth Western Australia (The Australian stockmarket works on Eastern states time so is normally 2 hours ahead of local time) is that daylight savings in the Eastern states(ES) means that you have to start 3 hours earlier than normal. So for me that meant I had to find some way to get to work by 5 in the morning. (to ensure support for the early birds in the ES.) My solution was to ride a bike the 12 km into work, shower, change and have breakfast at my desk) . This worked well for a number of years (so well that I wore out 3 bikes in the years I was commuting).

One morning whilst coming up the shuttle lift to the office from the basement, the lift jammed. No matter what I did I could not get it to move. So I let security know through the intercom, and decided to lie down in the lift and get some sleep, because they told me that the lift service company would not be there until 8. Great idea except that every 20 minutes they would page me "to see if I was OK" :( so I could have got 3 hours of sound sleep but instead got about 10 minutes at a time. When I got out of the lift I went to security and said thanks, but you could have let me sleep :)

Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...


Re: Similar scenario with a line printer

We had a similar problem with a copier that was located in a "lifestyle" office (located in a seaside town famous for wineries and surf, a couple of hours drive from head office. This allowed the directors the ability to have a long weekend at their beach "shack" and still do some work. Obviously this was in the days before ubiquitous mobile phones, wireless data services and remote access)

The copier was set up by the local copier company originally ("local" being a 30 minute highway drive away) and we had not been on site to inspect. It constantly jammed and it was almost every second day that the support company had to visit ( and would change an hour travel time each time).

When we did come in for other work ( rewiring the data switch ) we could tell what the problem was instantly. The printer was located directly below the outlet of a cassette air conditioner, and was constantly being blasted with cool damp air. This resulted in the paper (stored in a cupboard next to the printer) absorbing moisture and curling when exposed to the heated interior of the printer.

We moved the printer and paper to the other side of the room and it fixed the issue.

Mind you it paid for us to have a nice weekend in Busselton :)

Oh Smeg! Hacked white goods maker resurfaces after system shutdown



I think "Smeg" as a swear word has reached the penetration of "F*ck" but without the sexual connotations. I always assumed smeg was an alias for "Sh!t" as it seemed to have the same usage.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running


Speaking of Financial institutions

Many years ago we were running a very small options desk and running off a single server. When the time came to upgrade, we had to do it overnight, and by 4.30 am (after starting at 6am the previous day) I was more than a little groggy and decided that it was time to call it a night ( and crashed out on one of the couches in the board room). Next day with all the stress, I forgot to copy the historical data across to the new server. A few days later, one of the other admins asked if they could re-use the server and without thinking I said yes. About a day later I was asked where all the historical data was :(

Unfortunately they needed it for a court case and the only backups were done on DAT tapes using a reader in the old server. So after a Stat Dec saying that the data had been irretrievably lost (We spent ~$5k on a data recovery service but were unable to recover the data) I learnt a couple of things.

1. document the upgrade process and test run it before proceeding.

2. make sure you have a checklist for data checking and completion.

3. have a roll back position (much easier with VMware)

4. retain the old server for at least a month after the process.

5. never do a job like this when sleep deprived

BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'


Re: One evening about ten year ago...

I'm surprised the cop didn't use the police car to proceed depositing his truck in the ditch


Re: One evening about ten year ago...

I had to chuckle the other day, talking with our HSE manager and he was telling me about the first job he attended as an ambulance officer. A group of teenagers had taken a car on a high speed chase, missed a corner and half of them had exited the car because they were not wearing seatbelts. Apparently when the fire brigade turned up to extract the ones still in the car, they ran over one of the deceased bodies on the road. Their comment was, "You should have marked it with cones" to which the HSE manager replied," I'm an ambo, we don't have cones"

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you


Re: Lots to see here

I was in school when Skylab crashed in Western Australia, and was ready to go searching in Esperance for bits of it. To a kid in Western Australia this was excitement with a capital E.

Yes, people see straight through male displays of bling (they're only after a fling)


Re: Gender bias...

My wife's bag is nicknamed "The Leather Brick" because getting hit by it would be like getting hit by a brick. She also complains of neck pain because of the weight of it.

‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’


Re: Chairman of the Bored

I had a previous manager who thoroughly enjoyed taking the piss out of anyone in senior management. At a sexual harassment seminar run by HR, when asked if there were any comments he piped up and said, " I have a complaint" to which the HR manager got all excited and suggested that they meet later. He carried on and said,"I'm not getting any :( " to a huge laugh from all in the room.

B-Ark passengers to control most IT spend from 2019 onwards


Re: Very mixed feelings

I now state that company policy is not to answer surveys as we would spend all our time on the phone answering surveys. Most people understand and are quite happy to let me go. As you say, the word gets around and the call volume drops off.

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix


Re: A solution

Anything that takes the piss out of these people that need their mental faculties re-aligning with a Cattle Prod (ala BOFH) is welcome in my book..


Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory go TITSUP*


Happened Friday afternoon for us

I started getting reports of problems Friday around 3.30 PM (GMT+8) and spoke to our MSP. At this point they reported that a couple of their clients were seeing the same problem. Shortly thereafter confirmed it was a Microsoft issue.

We run Office 365 including Sharepoint online extensively as a way of minimising required infrastructure in house ( I am the first in house IT person they have had) and the likelihood of an in house exchange server is minimal. The main reason is that they have staff on site at Minesites who may have access to Internet but anything that requires heavy traffic is going to be a big no-no. Even running Citrix desktop sessions is too difficult for some of the site guys so they run a localised version of O365.

By 7pm the issue had been resolved, so well done to the technicians who managed to repair the backend that caused the problem.

My PC is broken, said user typing in white on a white background


Hacking tractors is becoming a thing.

Apparently there is a problem with all those computers in that only approved repairers can service these tractors due to the code in the computers being used. Apparently it is locked down so that farmers cannot do their own servicing and there is a move for the code to be changed to allow this to be done. In the meantime, there have been "Jailbroken" versions of the software shared out, along with the applicable lawsuits against the jail breakers.


MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)


Speeding fine has been levied

Our WA Police Facebook team are on point, already sent the camera fine for breaking the speed limit.

Kudos to Elon and his team for making use of the most satirical of Scifi humour books in DNA HHGTTG.

'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport


Maybe they should try the Singaporean MRT

Having been there, the trains pull up in exactly the same spot each time, so that they have markings on the platform to keep the exits clear. As a tourist I accidentally stood in the middle of one and was politely reminded that I should keep to one side to allow the alighting passengers a way to clear the entrance. Some of the stations have a barrier with automatic doors that only open when the train arrives and the train door and barrier door align.


Re: 09.30

Not only that but with their painful joints and swollen ankles they can be a positive menace. They've got to the age where they put up with no-one's crap and would happily pin your foot to the ground with their zimmer frame if it meant they could get the cheap meals.

What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves


Re: Devs getting listened to?

Whilst ensuring that all requests are in writing for the CYA aspect ;)

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


Re: Shredding some papers?

Yes but that data was accidentally overwritten with the photos from last Christmas (including the ones of the Boss being caught in the stationery cupboard with his secretary), and the backups have unfortunately aged out , with the tapes being lost in a recent fire. I suppose the shredder isn't capable of securely destroying hard drives as well? ;)

Oz military megahack: When crappy defence contractor cybersecurity 'isn't uncommon', surely alarm bells ring?


Sounds like a case of using a local for IT support

reading the article on PCauthority, https://www.pcauthority.com.au/news/australian-contractors-only-it-technician-steals-30gb-of-defence-secrets-475238

It sounds like a local in the Middle East was used for the IT support and was not particularly careful with password or account security.

Suspect this contractor no longer has a contract.

If Anonymous 'pwnd' the Daily Stormer, they did a spectacularly awful job


They are free to speak whatever they like, I as a company owner have a certain latitude in whether I want my company associated with that speech.


Re: Incorrect

"Illinois Nazis, I hate Illinois Nazis" :)

nbn™ blames cheap-ass telcos for grumpy users, absolves CVC pricing


Re: Oh FFS

To address your point regarding 80% subscribing at 25Mbps or less, I suspect that is because many of the customers on FTTN realise that they are still going to have trouble with the copper connection from their house to the node and that paying extra for the higher bandwidth is a waste of money. I have heard a number of people complaining that when they complained to their ISP regarding the substandard speed when paying for the higher bandwidth, the ISP came back with the excuse that they provide "up to" the maximum speed and therefore were not required to provide the consistent high speed expected. Also the majority of people subscribing are not told that they can have a higher bandwidth service, and therefore are used to taking whatever the ISP provides. They are bombarded with advertising saying that they need to be on the NBN and so take the cheapest plan that they can get.

Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide


Australian companies affected

Looks like TNT transport has been hit hard. Yesterday I could login to their online booking service (although I was unable to complete booking in), but today there is just an announcement screen showing the phone numbers for their worldwide booking services.

Twice-crashed HPE SANs at Oz Tax Office built for speed, not strength, and turned off error reporting


Re: A long time ago...

Was he fired because he was caught or because he couldn't come up with a solution that was obvious sabotage? ;) If he hadn't been caught he probably would have ended up as the head of IBM

As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off


My old boss did that

As IT support for a major stockbroker, he told the chairman that if the chairman doesn't see him then things are going well. regular upgrades are our way of making sure that users don't forget us.

Department of Human Services says citizens, not systems, to blame

Thumb Down

capacity planning by DHS is a joke

Having had something to do with the DHS over the last few months, I know the staff are just as frustrated as the public. Recently went to the local office at 4 pm ( after walking past the sign saying they were open until 5) to sort out a problem with my son's education supplement, and was told they would not see me as they had people who had been waiting an hour already. The only solution was to ring the complaint line to complain about this state of affairs. The young man who took my call read out the details that I was trying to confirm they had in their system and which their automated system claimed was not there. Unfortunately he had to arrange for another department to reverse the decision. a week later we got an email to say that the issue had been resolved. all could have been sorted in 5 minutes if they had seen me in the office :(

Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief


Re: More than just for warming pies

I used to have a drying rack behind my server rack for my towel and cycling kit. Lenovo servers really pumped out the heat.


It's called "Christmas in July" and it is an excuse to get hammered whilst eating all the hot foods that are totally ridiculous for Christmas in Australia (December is mid summer for us)

Reg readers vent their frustrations with AFA vendors


Re: Once bitten

We made it a policy to explain this explicitly to our vendors when pricing new systems. We worked on the theory that everyone builds some discount into their pricing so why not give us that discount up front along with clearly delineated support terms and licensing costs. Quite often if we had a preferred vendor ( not because of the sales droids, because of the the gurus in their support department) then we would let them know what price we expected to pay.

Once had a Telco come in and try to do a snow job on us. $10k + per month in phone charges made us an attractive target for cold callers and 2nd tier telcos. Sales droid wheeled in State and Country managers, who proceeded to try the hard sell on my boss. ie" if you sign today we can offer xyz but deal will not be available later". He called their bluff and told them to bugger off. Sales droid then tried to go to executive chairman, who conferenced in my boss. Would love to have been a fly on the wall when the sales droid got told in no uncertain terms never to come back.

BOFH: Sure, I could make your cheapo printer perform miracles


and monitors needed lifting equipment

CRT monitors bigger than 17" required 4 people to lift and move.


Printers- the bane of my life

As an IT person, I rarely print anything out, unless it has to have a physical signature on it. However the number of lusers who insist that they have to print out every email so that they "can read it later when they have the time" truly shocks me. I have rebuilt many HP Lasers over the years and they seem to be getting flimsier each time I have to do this. Also the covers with the plastic tab with a hole in it that fits over a lump of plastic that breaks off as soon as you flex it annoy the crap out of me. What is wrong with a decent screw fitting? We made a point to telling users that we would not support any personal printers and if they needed toner or ink they had to buy it out of their own pocket.

Apple's Faulty Powers moment: iPad Pro slabs 'temporarily bricked' during recharge


So what you are saying is " buy a MS Surface Pro 4 because it is a 4th gen device ?"

ISIS operates a crypto help desk – report


Re: They tried a help desk for the other stuff, but...

so does this get recorded as a First call resolution ;)

Hold on, France and Russia. Anonymous is here to kick ISIS butt


Re: Cloudflare's CEO is right about one thing

Hmm there are shades of grey there that need to be interpreted. The Postal service may not open parcels but they do provide access for screening by Customs and Border protection/Homeland Security. These authorities can then act on suspicion of intent to commit a crime. So in the same way Cloudflare can provide access to the appropriate authorities to screen material that is appearing on their servers.

BOFH: We're miracle workers. But you want us to fix THAT in 10 minutes?


I always have this poster on my wall

"A failure to plan on your behalf does not constitute an emergency on my behalf"

Doctor Who's good/bad duality, war futility tale in The Zygon Inversion fails to fizz


Re: I wasn't impressed with last week's episode...

I loved his comment "don't check my browser history" and then Osgood going and doing it anyway. :)

My top three IT SNAFUs - and how I fixed them


The Data centre kill switch

We too had the problem with the power kill switch being 1. unlabelled, 2. next to the exit door, 3. uncovered. After 2 power outage incidents caused by the fact that it was uncovered (and easily bumped as you were exiting the door), this was remedied with a lift up activation cover.

As recently as this year, I had an problem where we moved a number of users into an existing office and their computing infrastructure into an existing comms room. Because there were no extra 15 amp sockets, the UPS for these servers were plugged into the existing UPS. Everything was working fine when we left on Saturday afternoon. Monday morning I got a call on my way to work complaining that nothing was working. When I walked into the comms room I could instantly see the issue. The extra draw on the existing UPS had caused the power breaker circuit for this UPS to drop out. When the battery died, that was it, everything went down including the phone system. After some power circuit juggling and a visit from a sparky to run 2 new circuits it was all sorted. The Email server corruption was another issue though :(

nbnTM plans for future backhaul upgrade to FTTN cabinets


So are there any technical people that agree with FTTN?

In all my reading about the NBN, I have yet to see a technically competent person claim that FTTN is going to continue to be cheaper than FTTP. Every Telstra tech I've spoken to has said that to do it right we should be doing FTTP and doing it once rather than coming back later and relaying fibre when the copper finally gives up the ghost. The only arguments have been about the implementation schedule and usage of Telstra pits. From an bean counter point of view FTTN was always going to win as it has a lower initial investment and will be someone else's problem when the copper fails. From a customer point of view we don't care how it is done we just want to make sure that we are not fighting congestion when streaming Netflix.

BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard


Friday updates

The only Friday updates I will do is when I am moving an office. Updates to systems are usually overnight, midweek, assuming I don't have something else on. I value my time off much more than I do my work.

Exit-tel customers can't even upgrade their plans to stay


Since when have management ever told the workers why they do anything?

It would have been much simpler for them to say that "due to the change in legislation and data requirements, we have decided to reduce the number of clients for which we have to store data, and are aiming at marketing to businesses rather than individuals. Because the individuals being terminated are on a non-fixed term contract, we are exercising our rights to terminate their contracts. As we are becoming a Business only carrier, unfortunately we are unable to offer an alternative data service to these clients."

See I dashed that off in 5 minutes and could have charged $1000s in consultancy fees for that piece of prose. All they need to do then is offer a link to the Whirlpool ISP checker and their work is done :)

BOFH: Step into my office. Now take a deep breath


I'll admit the first computer I worked on was a BBC

but I did have the joy of working with the mainframes at the WARCC (Western Australian Regional Computing Centre while studying Engineering. Punch cards, and green and black terminal screens, along with line printers

Ohoh think I'm turning into that boss! Time to check the subfloor, halon system and make sure there is a lift there before stepping in.

Verizon: fibre is MUCH cheaper than copper, we're going all-FTTP


Get the politics out of our NBN

Yet more proof that relying on an aging copper network is a recipe for failure.


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