* Posts by Archaon

211 posts • joined 6 Jun 2014

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Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

Archaon

Re: Architecture

@ Mark 110, I am a mere user so am obviously not privy to the internal complexities (aka reality). From my perspective as a user the online banking functions like it's just a re-skin of the previous version. That is to say the current design looks reasonably pretty but is years behind the competition in functionality and in dire need of some HCI consultancy work. As I say - just a customer perspective, I'm well aware that these things just aren't that simple when you dig into them.

Reliability has been fine for me - but online banking is one of those things that you don't even notice (let alone care) if it's down unless you're actually trying to use it at that exact time.

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Archaon
Stop

Really?

They can find plenty of this sort of project by themselves, they don't need our help to spend money on useless shit.

How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

Archaon

@tfewster didn't see the original comment, but thumbs up for looking it up!

Mathematical impossibilities aside, let's just be clear that nobody has made their millions selling a Belkin cable to public sector at 1929% markup. Let's say it's a £1.30 3m Cat6 cable, that only makes it £26.38 ex VAT sell to the customer. Now obviously that's a HUGE rip-off for what it is.....but that doesn't change the fact that it's just £26 and change.

And let's be honest...it's still got nothing on Monster cables in Currys.

Archaon

Unless it has a cost of £0 or you are being paid to sell it (as in taking it below £0 cost), a product can't be sold at more than 99.9(recurring)% margin.

So how have they come up with 1992% and those other ridiculous figures?

Confusing margin and mark-up perhaps?

He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

Archaon
Meh

Re: Oh dear .....

In one respect, yes I pay for 200Mb and it would be nice to have that at all times. It's not like I sit there benchmarking it every 5 minutes, but the worst speed that I've ever seen is 165Mb.

While not 200Mb that is still more than enough to do pretty much anything that I might want to be doing during peak times. Upload speeds are still rubbish, but I don't do enough uploading for it to be more than an occasional annoyance.

Best I've seen off-peak is over 220Mb.

I've no doubt that it varies by area, but certainly in my circumstance do you really think I'm going to leave Virgin and go to a service like BT Infinity where they 'estimate' that I 'might' get 'somewhere' between 28-37Mb 'possibly' subject to the 'haha' clause of subsection 'fuck' paragraph 'you' of your customer agreement*?

Funnily enough, no, I'll stay with Virgin thanks.

* I appreciate that potentially removing that last bit is the entire point of the article, but I couldn't help myself.

HPE server firmware update permanently bricks network adapters

Archaon

Re: Testing

"Well, if you are not an OS company why are sticking your grubby incompetent fingers anywhere near a driver image, may I ask?"

Since when is it down to the likes of MS, VMware and Red Hat as "OS companies" to develop drivers for everyone elses' hardware?

So to answer your question - probably the same thing that Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Brocade, Broadcom, QLogic, Cisco, Emulex, Dell, Realtek et al are doing with their fingers near a driver image for their hardware.

Also...yet again...wrong HP!

HPE: Cloud Server WILL survive... we just need someone else to buy 'em

Archaon
FAIL

What I never understood...

Is that these systems are designed to have stripped back features, removing a lot of HPE Proprietary technologies and software. The default warranty is also parts-only on these machines, which is quite unique in the server world where at least 1 site of labour and on-site cover is standard on pretty much everything. The intention behind all this is to reduce the cost and complexity of each system, making them cost effective to deploy at scale and rely on whatever tools said company has developed or bought in to manage all the flashy scale out cloudy stuff.

If I were being cynical I would sum that up as "putting a HPE badge on a white box Foxconn server", but in fairness I'm not 100% sure that's what they actually did.

But as far as I can see they cost more than ProLiants on a like-for-like basis, as well as being less flexible in configuration and expandability.

So what's the effing point?

SanDisk man tipped off his family to Fusion-io fusion, bagged $220k in share snatch – says SEC

Archaon

@Prst. V.Jeltz "not unlikely" is a double negative so effectively means the same as saying "likely".

Reading it and trying to understand why you'd want to use a double negative like that both hurt my brain though.

Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

Archaon

@luminous: Not the best time to tell Equifax that.

New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Archaon
FAIL

What?

So they've employed someone in a well paid, top dog IT management position with a 2 year contract who now can't make decisions that relate to client devices (Desktop, Laptop, Mobile), software (Office, IaaS, PaaS etc) and the majority of servers and storage (Windows Server, Cloud).

I mean, there is actually a lot left for an organisation of that size, but methinks perhaps not £180k worth when I'm sure anyone without the MS link would have to deal with it all for the same package?

Billion-euro Intel EU antitrust saga goes on and on and...

Archaon

Re: And the lawyers...

@DanW that's a completely different scenario?

Archaon

Re: And the lawyers...

I am no lawyer but I doubt there's an antitrust case to be brought against a company for pushing users towards the latest version of the same software they were going to purchase anyway.

My understanding is that anti-trust laws are intended to maintain fair competition between competing companies. If that is indeed correct, then by definition a company can't anti-trust itself - which is what you're suggesting.

I agree that the limited options for Kaby Lake and onwards will at some point force many users OFF Windows 7/8/8.1. However Windows 10 is ultimately a new version of the same product. The lack of support for prior versions of Windows does NOT force users of other operating systems onto Windows as a platform. That is a key differentiator.

If it prevented Linux or OS X from working then I think there would absolutely be a case there, but it doesn't.

Both HPs, Vizio join Arista's legal fight against Cisco

Archaon

HPE's involvement...

HPE resell Arista equipment as part of their datacentre networking portfolio. With that in mind I doubt their involvement is completely benign - although even now they still resell a handful of Cisco products as well.

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Archaon

My company used to use a small fleet of HP 625 laptops, so during my first week for training (numerous years ago). It had that 'feature' of hotkeys down the left hand side and had to try and use it for a week. More recently nabbed one of the survivors for testing something and I wanted to burn it.

Thanks for U-turning on biz-killing ban, Ofcom – now cough up, say GSM gateway bods

Archaon

Huh?

So they want compensation for their business that failed based on a technology that was banned, on the assumption that the business would have been a stellar success and been worth millions of pounds; rather than be rendered obsolete and still go bankrupt a few years later due to newer technology, unlimited call packages etc.

If and when cannabis is legalised, will we see a queue of drug dealers outside their local council offices claiming lost profits and compensation for being imprisoned (if ever caught)?

Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

Archaon

What's really winding me up lately...

Beeb- "Oh, by the way, you'll have to register soon to watch iPlayer."

Me- "Ok, well at least maybe this finally means they've come up with some way to know that I have a TV licence and stop harassing me every damn time I want to watch something."

Beeb- "Yeah so we only actually collected some really basic personal info that doesn't cover anything useful like your TV licence status. So now you're all registered and logged in and want to watch something I just need to check: Do you have a TV licence? You must have a TV licence to watch this content!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ONE OR ELSE YOU STINKY THIEF * !!!"

Me- "Oh for f***s sake what was the point of registering then?"

* Seems to be guilty until proven innocent in my experience with TV licensing.

Presto crypto: IBM releases gruntier, faster Z14 mainframe

Archaon

How many instances of Doom per core?

Dell goes swimming in Skylake to source 14G server line

Archaon

Re: just be prepared to wait if you want SSDs

The smaller SSDs are the one with the largest issues. You may (hopefully not) be surprised to hear that the smaller, affordable-ish drives are the most in-demand which is exacerbating the supply issues at the lower end. There's not much of a queue for 7.68TB SAS SSDs.

HPE do offer the E3-1240L v5 and E3-1260L v5 on the DL20 Gen9 rack server (I assume you've bought a rackmount for a colo) however they are factory built rather than off the shelf (same as Dell, in other words).

I suspect low TDP processors are relatively rare because many servers have built in (or licensable) power capping capabilities, which allows users to cap the power - presumably you want that to reduce the colo costs or to be within an amp limit? A 35W processor will obviously use less power at the top end, but in standard idle-ish usage doesn't necessarily offer significant power savings against a normal (say 80W) processor. Worth researching as you may be able to use something like the a common as muck E3-1220 v5/v6 and cap it to achieve a similar result (but you may need iDRAC Enterprise or iLO Advanced to enable it, not sure off the top of my head).

PS - Regarding the config issues, check things like the chassis and RAID configuration for something related to No OS. You might find there's an option elsewhere in the config that then allows you to select No OS under the OS section. The Dell-EMC config tool has fun quirks like that. Alternatively talk to a Dell-EMC (or HPE) partner and have them do the configs and transaction for you.

OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

Archaon

Re: ripping =!= unlicensed music use a.k.a. piracy

They're talking about ripping streams, not ripping CDs.

While Microsoft griped about NSA exploit stockpiles, it stockpiled patches: Friday's WinXP fix was built in February

Archaon

Re: Fixed your car analogy

I would argue that something found 15 years later is not egregious. Especially as it's probably the result of numerous supported and unsupported components and work over time. Even for more modern cars that is not only beyond the 'manufacturer lifecycle' but likely also beyond the expected life of the machine.

And regarding the fixes; if it's that easy then I look forward to seeing SyntaxOS v1 as my daily driver at some point in the near future.

Crack on.

NVMe SSD? Not yet, says Pure, but promises to deliver it

Archaon

Re: "NVMe Ready"

"Just like TVs labelled "HD Ready" and "Freeview", which couldn't receive Freeview HD without a separate box."

Not really - those are two separate items.

OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Archaon

At the very least SGI Rackable Systems use Supermicro chassis and almost certainly the corresponding motherboards. I would not be at all surprised if the larger systems also utilise Supermicro tin, but with home-grown SGI/Rackable whizz-bangery added into the mix.

EMC re-engineers its VNX flashy boxen, puts Unity on the label

Archaon

Normal EMC pricing?

Admittedly everyone else is just as guilty of the "Starts at £X" marketing but starts at $18k, add a set of 10 small SSDs $68k. Add the usual other bits and bobs and software licenses $88k. Tack on semi-mandatory support for another $30k to bring you up to $118k.

$118k sounds much more realistic than $18k to me.

Also 30,000 IOPS really is not impressive in this space. As it's a re-engineered VNX I can't say I'm surprised by it capping out around that point, but that decision to cut costs be fettling an existing box will show in the long term.

Power9: Google gives Intel a chip-flip migraine, IBM tries to lures big biz

Archaon

Re: Interesting niches...

As others have noted I seem to recall it was more Apple telling IBM to sod off as POWER chips just weren't really efficient enough for desktop use - hence why the latest and greatest Power PC machines had to be water cooled.

Even if IBM did tell Apple to sod off - now speaking hypothetically - if that was the case I suspect the reason behind it would have been that the development costs for the desktop range of POWER chips simply wouldn't have been worth the income. The development and production costs for processors are insane and, despite Apple flogging about 5-6 million Macs a year, I doubt that was truly enough to build a business case to continue the processor line. Given that we're going a way back and Apple hadn't reached fever pitch I doubt Apple actually sold 5-6 million POWER-powered Macs at the time either.

I disagree with IBM's approach on many things, but business is not as simple as "IBM threw away X amount of business so they're mental" - if that business was not profitable for IBM, and could not be made profitable within a reasonable period (if at all) then binning it was absolutely the correct decision.

Also don't be daft, Apple are nowhere near Intel's largest OEM partner. Looking at the number of PCs shipped they're 5th in the world. Ok so yes many of the other companies also supply AMD processors in their systems, but they are in the minority compared to the number of Intel boxes shipped and even if you say something extreme like "40% of all Lenovo/Dell/HP PCs are shipped with AMD CPUs" (which is just not true) they're all still considerably larger than Apple in terms of Intel sales.

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3185224

The figures also don't include servers, storage controllers, embedded systems etc that many of the other vendors manufacture. Half a million server units might not add much to the units sold but in terms of value to Intel: servers have more expensive chipsets, (typically) more and (typically) higher value processors and Intel also have a significant share of the 1Gb and 10Gb server-grade NIC market.

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3174018

Staff 'fury' as penny pinching IBM offers legal minimum redundo payoffs

Archaon

Re: Interesting!

"45 days to utterly ruin a multinational."

Sadly IBM has been doing that to itself for years.

HPE beefs up entry MSA with a bit of flash

Archaon

They were comparing the StoreEasy to the FAS2500, not the MSA.

While I agree the comparison to a FAS is somewhat tenuous, the new StoreEasy 1650E does offer relatively cheap (for a tier 1 vendor), dense bulk storage. And while Windows Storage Server naturally doesn't fit everywhere and has it's own weaknesses it's not half bad in terms of functionality either.

Fortinet tries to explain weird SSH 'backdoor' discovered in firewalls

Archaon

Re: Time to update contract language?

Naive doesn't even cover it. As a rule the people signing on both ends can barely tell you what a computer does let alone what a 'hard-coded SSH backdoor' is.

MapR offers free test drive to AWS wannabes

Archaon

Well, yes...

"They are provided free of charge – supposedly "for education, demonstration, and evaluation purposes" – but will inevitably be used to snag new customers."

Why else would they want people to know about a product, if not to flog it?

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Archaon

Fax Server

A previous customer of ours had a 486 running as a fax server, that was still in place until at least 2013.

Samsung turns to smart home, wearables chips as mobile declines

Archaon

Hrm

'Sorry, the 'SamsungCook' app is not supported by Android 7.x (Marshmallow Pasta Bake) and cannot be downloaded to your device. To resolve this please replace your oven with a model which is compatible with SamsungCook version 7.1.pie.'

The future doesn't look bright...because the fecking oven light is controlled by an unsupported app and you can't turn it on.

Three-years-late fit-to-work IT tool will cost taxpayers £76m

Archaon
Facepalm

Capita

I fail to understand why these clowns continually receive central government and public sector contracts, despite inevitably being involved in virtually every IT system that fails or goes over budget. I also do not understand why the populace are being burdened with the cost of a system that's now over 2 years overdue and supposedly should have been implemented under contract (which would generally imply it's the supplier's responsibility, not ours, to resolve and/or pay for any issues).

Rubrik's cube: Storage firm founder drenches us in upstart Kool-Aid

Archaon

Indeed. It looks like a good enough product, but it also looks very much like what everyone else already does. Nothing jumps out that can't be done with existing pre-configured backup appliances, or roll-your-own solutions (backup software plus tin of your choice - e.g. Veeam or Veritas).

Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

Archaon

Re: Not all bad..

I'm not surprised, but that is because something like a fuser roller is classed as a consumable, even in cases where it's meant to out-last the printer and is a sod to repair. As a result it can be excluded from the Sale of Goods Act.

Anyway, that said, even for a non-consumable part like a power supply I would agree that it probably wouldn't be a valid claim. if a machine works for a few years then it's going to be next to impossible to prove that it was actually defective at sale - the longer it works for the more it backs up the idea that the PSU was actually sufficient and it's a random failure. It's far more likely that the broken machine mentioned earlier is one of those unlucky machines that's just happened to go pop during burn-in, rather than an indication that all of these machines are going to go bang because they're under-powered.

If they ever needed to I'm pretty sure they can do better than "But durrrr it says 600W on the Gee-4ce website". Vendors have an absolutely ridiculous amount of documentation surrounding every single piece of product they ever shift, and HP is no exception to that. They also make a hell of a lot more PCs than all of us commentards put together multiplied by a number with a lot of zeros on the end...

Archaon
Facepalm

Re: A place where fools and their money

There is no such thing as an emergency TV replacement, nor is there such a thing as being forced to buy a warranty. Can't be bothered or don't want to argue and cancelling it in the cooling off period, sure, but forced - not so much. Saying no really isn't hard.

HSBC online customers still in the cold after hours-long lockout

Archaon

Re: Just say ...

Not to mention that they used to advertise as 'The World's Local Bank', which was intended to show a worldwide presence with local knowledge/service.. If they were claiming to be a British bank then surely the tag line would have been 'The Local Local Bank'?

Free Wi-Fi for the NHS, promises health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Archaon

No, VLANs alone aren't enough, but the original AC seems to imply it's impossible to do without separated networks - which is not the case.

Archaon
Headmaster

Re: What a bunch of tw@ts

"Assuming that some of you are employed, judging by some of the spelling and grammar, I guess not."

Clearly you're so gainfully employed that you have time to criticise but not enough time to practice what you preach. None of us are perfect, we all make typos, but if you're going to whine about it at least write the remainder of your post correctly!

"It is an employers duty to protect their employers from harassment this includes being subject to offensive language or anything else that might offend. If you hadn't noticed the NHS does have employees mixing with patients."

Instead try -

"It is an employer's duty to protect their employees from harassment; this includes being subjected to offensive language or anything else that might offend. If you hadn't noticed the NHS does have employees mixing with patients."

Also -

"someone I am guessing thank thinks" - Wait, wut?

Archaon

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but this appears to be for NHS England only?"

Yes, this is NHS England. It's NHS England because NHS Scotland is devolved from the rest of the country and run by the Scottish Parliament. You get cheaper education and considerably higher public services spending - which is ultimately funded by the whole of the UK*. And yet you're actually surprised that after nearly 20 years of devolution Westminster have suddenly clocked on to that and decided to cut your grants?

"Rarrrr they be taking our money below the wall rarrrr" is a little bit tenuous at the best of times, but complaining that something only benefits England when it's your own devolved government that took control of your NHS is a bit rich.

That said, I completely agree the money should be spent elsewhere (wage increases, training, recruitment, actual medical equipment, more beds etc etc). I see enough wasted government IT spending in my role as it is. I would say free hospital WiFi is a good idea but it's really not worth £1bn of public money when there's so many other things to spend money on.

* Including Scotland partially funding itself, of course. I'm not trying to suggest England pays for everything while everyone else sits back and relaxes. That would be complete rubbish. But the point is that, despite separate budgets, ultimately the money comes out of the same pot so any spending is saddled on all of us.

Archaon

You do know what a VLAN is, right...?

Cisco needs to get off its backside if it's to remain storage king in 2016

Archaon
Paris Hilton

Remain storage king

Did I miss something? Like them becoming storage king in the first place?

TalkTalk attack: 'No legal obligation to encrypt customer bank details', says chief

Archaon
Facepalm

The difference between losing all of your customers and keeping some of them...

How to keep some of them: "We're not required to encrypt bank details, however this attack shows that encryption is important and we clearly should be. As such we have implemented a plan to encrypt all user data within the next month to prevent such an attack from happening. We truly apologise for any inconvenience or concern caused by this data breach, but rest assured your data will be safer with us than most other companies in the future."

The TalkTalk school on how to lose all of them: "We didn't need to do it. We still don't. Tough shit."

BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

Archaon

SD and HD

Does this mean we'll finally be able to have a player that can determine you're on the connection to support a HD stream, rather than default to SD and make you refresh the page to use HD? Not like most video sites have had on-the-fly resolution changing for donkeys years (and auto detection of bandwidth etc is also commonplace).

Have noticed they've brought back some of the 'classic' BBC2 intros, like the remote control car '2'. BBC gets big points for that, for nostalgia if nothing else.

Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'

Archaon

Would be more impressive...

...if it was actually a working PC. No power, no memory, no graphics, no storage. There's not even a radiator for the cooling loop.

HP overtakes Cisco in cloud infrastructure revenues

Archaon

Re: Nice Dell blade enclosures...

True, but then there was also a nod to VMware and Microsoft. Both are companies that - while playing a crucial role in the marketplace - are not particularly well known for selling infrastructure equipment.

Just admit that nobody could be bothered to make a new pointless article header image with HP or Cisco hardware on it. :-)

Archaon
Black Helicopters

Nice Dell blade enclosures...

...on an article about Cisco and HP?

Pro tip: Servers belong in dry server rooms, not wet cloakrooms

Archaon
Windows

Re: £300 per hour for starters

Generally speaking a solicitor stays put and you go and see them. The only costs are their time and their seat value (which includes equipment, furniture, their share of the building operating costs etc).

The IT consultancy firm typically visits you and therefore shells out for employee expenses. If you're located anywhere expensive (anywhere remotely close to London) those expenses can easily run to £150+ a day just for accomodation and food, plus any travel expenses (mileage/parking/trains). All that goes on top of their time and seat value. Covering said expenses is why you'll struggle to get IT consultancy for cheap, unless it's someone located locally who can 'pop in'.

Apple iPhone 6S: Same phone, another day, but TOTALLY DIFFERENT

Archaon

Re: Pricing

That is a large factor but not the be-all-and-end-all of it. Take a random tech product, do a straight $ to £ conversion and add 20% and you won't get the price we pay. There are other factors such as risk aversion on exchange rates, i.e. setting the price slightly higher than usual to cover the company from making a loss if the exchange rate changes.

Archaon

Pricing

Only a bargain $200* deposit for a massive capacity 16GB model on a (no doubt) premium priced** 2-year contract?

Fuck. That. ***

* Let's call that £120-150 by the time they actually get here after import costs and the slight price premium we generally pay for tech in the UK.

** I would imagine £45 per month over 2 years, which in reality gives you a call plan worth about a tenner.

*** Add that up over 2 years and you're looking at near enough £1000 overall spend. For the base model. So again: Fuck. That.

No boxy Volvo: Chilling in the S60 D3 Manual R-Design Lux Nav

Archaon

Re: £37K?

Not really how it works. Bearing in mind we pay around $30,000 for a half decent Focus which would cost you $18,000. And let's just say that while we can now get the Mustang officially in the UK, it's certainly not for $24,000 - double it and then some.

Cars are expensive here compared to the USA. As with everything there's various factors that cause it: tax, import costs, adaptation and manufacturing to right-hand-drive spec, pricing of competing products etc.

Sorry, Californians, you can't have this: Asus to build WATER COOLED notebook

Archaon

Re: I've had a load of Asus stuff over the years

ASUS typically offer a very comprehensive range allowing you to pick the right features at a reasonable price, so they are hard to resist sometimes. That said all of the ASUS stuff I've purchased had issues out of the box. Anything from something simple like needing to reset the BIOS before use (or no boot at all) through to a completely dead memory channel, I have never had an ASUS motherboard without some kind of issue out of the box.

Admittedly that is a small sample size of a few boards - but after 3 or 4 completely different boards all having issues there's a reason the sample size isn't getting any bigger! Would probably buy Abit if they hadn't packed up years ago, so I'm generally using ASRock at the moment and find them to be just as good, with an equally comprehensive range of board types and features. Generally a little cheaper as well, which doesn't hurt.

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