* Posts by Criggie

39 posts • joined 21 Mar 2014

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


Serious question - why not land at a lunar pole? Orbital mechanics could be a bit more challenging, but it will at least have sunlight all the time, albeit at a low angle.

The sunlight might be somewhat attenuated though, and solar panels would have to stand up like a wall, AND rotate to follow the sun. A radio dish would also have to follow Earth too.

Some brief googling suggests humanity has landed at 37 degrees north with Luna 17 and 40 degrees south with Surveyor 7 according to https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/moonimg_07.html but that's quite old now.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?


Re: Just a Nibble, it'll come in useful;




Re: "ran like a three-legged dog"

Laws of Rocketry - just think of supporting the weignt on the thrust power alone....

Brit hacker hired by Liberian telco to nobble rival now behind bars


Just goes to show, one should never trifle with Librarians.

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files


Re: I remember the 2Gb file size limit in 95 / ME

I've seen toner cartridges entered into accounts as capital items, because they cost over $250.

I've even seen fibre cables installed inside walls as capital items, depreciated over 20 years.

I've even been shat on by the technophobe accountants in 1998, for throwing out a 14.4k modem, because it was ~5 years into a 20 year depreciation cycle and had a book value of ~$1400 remaining. This was in the day when a new 56k modem was about $150 and dialup minutes had a cost, so upgrading to faster made a lot of sense. Thank Christ for a diplomatic boss who saved my job when I was young and knew no better.


Re: xfer

dosbox and wine make those old apps breathe again, (possibly)

Then again, some of the best are packaged in your fav distro - Debian has the old Sopwith Camel as a package ready to go with `apt install sopwith`

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse


Re: After you. No, after you!

Sensing Carriers in your location using Multiple Collision Detection sounds like a really bad idea IMO.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame


Re: What a cunt!

lesson #3 - Never use your personal accounts on work machines, nor your work accounts on personal machines. Else Synching might bring over your web history which then looks like you're doing home stuff on work time.

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


Re: rm -rf complet with following symlinks

If someone's here without at least a passing understanding of unix, then they've come to the wrong part of town.

New Zealand health boards write down losses on Oracle implementation



Strange that as a kiwi, I'm reading this in a UK source.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones


Re: Airports are very large places

Sounds like a perfect excuse to hoon up and down the runways/taxiways on fast motorbikes with your shot/salt gun in a horse-style holster.

Yee Haw! *spurs jingling*

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth


Re: is that it?

I've had a faster one... "give the mouse a wiggle please?" "Oh that's fixed now!"

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs


Re: Legality

Best thing I ever did was stop driving and start exercising. We moved house and I was faced with a 60 minute drive plus pay for parking, or a 60 minute bike ride, or a 90 min bus ride.

The burst of exersise wakes me up and I'm effective much more - the excuse of "haven't had coffee" is unneeded. Even using the recent Lime scooters is a step up in the personal exercise area.

And as IT wallahs we all run the risk of chair-sized bums, so adding some blood stirring moments is the best thing you can do for yourself and your work.

Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP


As a cyclist, you're not wrong.

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses


Re: Say what you like about Teslas

> Some 75% of road deaths are people on bikes.

[Citation needed]

Let's not have made-up numbers thrown about please.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere


Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

Sadly it is turned off in my corporate gmail account. :-\

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-


I managed to run ip route delete default on a linux firewall box I was SSHing to over the internet.

Hadn't saved any config changes, so I rang the site guy and asked for a reboot please. Alll good so far.

Machine stops replying to ping, starts pinging, so I'm sitting there pressing up-arrow, enter, (SSH connect refused) up-arrow, enter (refused) over and over.

SSH starts, I press up-arrow, enter, get on the box with an SSH key so no password, then up-arrow, enter.

What was the last command? `ip route delete default `

That became the definition of Muppetty.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin


Re: Defensive typing

I tend to put "echo " in front of any dodgy command.

rm -rf $dir/


echo rm -rf $dir/

and you hopefully notice that $dir is empty. Thanks to NVidia for that one.

National Museum of Computing to hold live Enigma code-breaking demo with a Bombe


Can't believe noone's said it already....

"someone set up us the bombe" ?

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls


Re: Knot

Tie a knot in it ?

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: Naming Scheme

I had to google that - winalot is a dogfood brand dating back to 1927. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winalot

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep


Re: Rebecca - a flying start

Downside of this is those really helpful people who continue ",,,so I rebooted it for you"

Sometimes its better to avoid problems and have your toasters or pipes or just a power save mode.

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


Re: Halted machine on other side of the planet

I remember a chap doing desktop support at a church. All the staff went out for lunch, and locked the office door while he was working elsewhere on the site. However he needed to reboot the server in the office.

No ILO or anything - its a glorified desktop because churches lack in money. No UPS either, so there-in lies the basis of his fix.

What was his fix? The power distribution board was overhead, so he hits the cutouts labelled "front office" until the room got suspiciously quieter. After a 10-count, turn it back on and server reboots. Problem solved and he could leave.


Re: FIXED: Halted machine on other side of the planet

Yep - I heard it was good, so I tested mollyguard by running the mollyguard binaries directly.

Works exactly as described on the box - insta-shutdown when called directly.

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'


Re: Desks should be clear anyway,...

Getting paid is an *excellent* motivator.

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month


Re: Not quite the end of the month....

date -d "yesterday 13:00" '+%Y-%m-%d'

60 percent of the time, it works everytime. The other 40 percet of the time, it also works everytime. And its DST-safe too. Stick that in your recipe book.

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it


Was that Magnum or Apple Ed?


Re: That happened to me

I remember drilling a small pilot hole into every new mouse so that it cleared all the important parts, and then screwing in a small countersunk machine screw that had been dipped in plastic adhesive.

That was to stop the darlings who carried screwdrivers in their schoolbags.

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'


No love for mail via fidonet?

I was 3:770/105.369 but that's decades dead. Ued a 1200 baud Netcomm modem which was powered by a 9V battery. That got expensive quick, till I saved up for a PSU. Still got the modem too.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin


Me too

Yep had that brown momemt,

Due to various tectonic events, we had another company working out of our first-floor boardroom for a year. They had a couple desktops, a nice APC 1.7 kVA UPS on the floor (foreshadow) and all was well.

An aftershock knocked over a water cooler, which was plumbed into the mains, not one of those bottle ones. It piddled away for a day and a half, releasing a lot of water whcih ran downhill. The boardroom was at the low end and was ~50mm deep in water.

On Monday I walked in to see the damage, and became aware their stuff was still powered. So I turn off the wall socket.

>CLONK< goes the UPS, as they do.

The UPS was probably half under the filthy water and had just switched to batteries. I'm aware how a UPS is built inside, with the batteries below and the board along the top, so any waves could short it. Gingerly reach over and hold the power button on the UPS till it powers off and all the PCs go down.

By how much did I avoid a shock? No idea, and I really don't want to know.

TL;DR, earthquakes suck, AND they have aftermaths (afterbaths?) that go on for many years.

BOFH: Turn your server rack hotspot to a server rack notspot

Thumb Up

Re: @Geekpride

So you'd like Simon and Scott Adams to do a crossover, cultural exchange, site visits and all that? What would dogbert do to PFY? What would BofH do to Wally, or PHB ?


Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign


Re: VMware

https://xenbits.xen.org/xsa/ shows XSA-253 is prereleased but embargoed, so Xen knows something.

How's this for a stocking filler next year? El Reg catches up with Gemini


ANT+ support

I'd like to know if it supports ANT+ for connectivity to sensors.

Many high-end android phones have the hardware, but its rarely listed on the spec sheets.

https://www.gsmarena.com/res.php3?sSearch=planet+gemini lists no results as yet.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires


No - but I was once working inside a small 19" ethernet switch to clean or replace the fan.

Since my workspace was rather cluttered, I had it on my lap while I was sitting in a chair.... (you see where this is going.)

I powered it up to check the fan plug orientation was correct, and the case went live with 220V. Its rather hard to have a complex coordinated muscular response when sitting down.

So from memory I leaned back, pushing hips forward at speed, sending whoile switch flying through the air to crash into the solid concrete floor. Surprisingly only two ports ceased working due to this abuse.

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'


Re: Unplugged cable

Even more fun - the metal shield on USB can short pins in the RJ45 jack, which can really confuse the switch at the other end.


Re: It's all black

Anything that helps avoid a problem is a good thing.

At one point I was working at a cash-strapped school, and ended up with four servers in my office for 4 months, because of emergency building works.

The KVM was off limits and hadn't been rescued along with the servers, but I had a rotary VGA switch and spare keyboards/mice. So all servers got hideous backgrounds, keyboards and mice were all colour-labelled clearly.

And it was all for naught.... I still managed to CAD on a linux server's keyboard console by mistake, thinking it was the screen in front of me. Yes it rebooted, and yes I disabled that in inittab immediately it finished booting.


Re: Haunted messages...

I had a flatmate who had a budgie - it was dead silent and never made a noise.

So I found some short WAV file of a bird squirching / tweeting / whatever, and had the house server play that once randomly through the day between 9 am and 5 pm.

The server had some 1.5W unpowered PC speakers and a SB16 (it was a 486 of some sort sharing a dialup modem amongst the house over 10baseT ethernet) It was several months before Sarah figured out it was the server making the noise, not the bird.

At that point I killed the cronjob. After a couple of days she asked "did you stop the bird sound?" to which I confirrmed. "So why has Bird started making happy noises?"

Turns out the bird had started to make bird noises in the day too, and he never shut up again.

Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT


Older stuff well represented

Everything on this list has been around long enough to get some recognition. Try "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi - under 10 years old.

Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past



Wow - I remember playing this on a 286 with a hercules mono screen. It does look a lot better in colour.

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