* Posts by Ivan Headache

823 posts • joined 24 Jul 2007


Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Ivan Headache

Re: Hawks

Just before Christmas we had a grey-hair holiday in Madeira.

We allowed ourselves to get suckered into a 'Hotel Holiday Club" presentation in one of the largest hotels in Funchal. (basically for the freebie* that inevitably comes along if you sit all the way through it).

In the lounge/foyer was a youngish lady wearing a Belstaff type jacket and big gloves.

On her arm a raptor. The hotel uses it to keep the pigeons and gulls away from the balconies and pools..

Ironically as were leaving, the lady was on her knees attempting to remove raptor poo from the carpet.

*We got a bottle of Madeira and a 3 hour dolphin watching cruise on a catamaran. (and no, we didn't join)

Ivan Headache

Targeted ads

Readingthe article on my iPad there’s an advert right in the middle.

It has a big button


Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Ivan Headache

Re: Deep Six

I can beat that!

I had a call to help the friend of a client.

He had been knocked off his motorbike on the A40 by a hit and run and left for dead!

He suffered awful injuries and when I met him he was still in a bit of a state but back home from hospital.

The reason for my attendance was his MacBook Pro. It was in his backpack at the time and by the time it was recovered had been run over several times.

He had been on his way to pitch for a design job and his pitch was in the Mac. Unfortunately the Mac was bent into the shape of a taco. Seams were split apart and one the hinges was bust. It was still closed and in one piece but completely out of shape.

My task was to extract (if possible) the HD and if successful, try to extract his pitch and the other work on it.

I prised the lid open and as I forced it into its very unnatural new hyperbolic shape with its one hinge, some key-tops fell out and the shattered screen lit up and seconds later his desktop appeared. It had been asleep for over a month in its fortune cookie state.

I don't know which one of us was more surprised. Looking at the Mac I wasn't st all confident that the HD would be intact.

I only wish I had had a phone with a camera at the time so I could document it.

(The delay didn't stop him getting the gig though)

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data

Ivan Headache

Re: It’s a rotten corporate culture

I worry about the ethics of the individuals who come up with these schemes in the first place.

What if was their own kids or partners that were suckered in?

Morals? Yes, we've heard of them,

Ouch, Apple! Plenty of iPhones stuck in tech channel. How many? That's a 'wild card'

Ivan Headache

Re: Apple boredom

So True.

A friend of mine [in his 80s) bought a chain saw and a horse blanket in Lidl.

He hasn't got a horse - nor any trees too cut down in his first floor apartment.

Mind you, m the champagne he bought at the same time was super.

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

Ivan Headache

Re: When you hear De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da...

de da de da de da

The police are right behind you/

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

Ivan Headache

Re: 25 years of IT support...

I think I've posted this before but a repeat fits perfectly here.

I had a call "I can't find the right page 2"


"There's lots if page 2s and I can't find the right one."

Cue visit.

The screen is littered with page 1s and page 2s plus the odd page 3

Turns out she was in typewriter mode and thought that you needed a new document for the next page.

She had managed ok for a while but as work progressed it had got out of hand.

Would have helped a bit if she had developed a file naming procedure that linked the pages- but no. Page 1, page 2.

Spent a bit of time helping her match them up and joining the relevant pages and then naming the new document and she slowly started to appreciate the differences between a typewriter and a WP.

Lady's occupation?

Career guidance counsellor.

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Ivan Headache

Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

I've always thought it was a small flat ended hand tool used for spreading heat-transfer paste, generally made of a hard plastic

However, I was at my brother's house recently and he and a mate were working a a Ducati Motorbike.

During a difficult moment while they were trying to line up some bolt holes one of them asked "Where's the spudger?"

Turns out that this spudger was a tapered round steel tool about the same size a a cold-chisel, pushed into one hole to line up the receiving hole.

Equifax IT staff had to rerun hackers' database queries to work out what was nicked – audit

Ivan Headache

Like finding a trout in your milk.

I did once find a toy soldier in my cornflakes.

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Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Ivan Headache

If I had s hammer

I'd hammer in the morning.

(But it still wouldn't annoy those builders with the pile-driver 3 streets away)

Brit Railcard buyers face lengthy, unexplained delays. Sound familiar?

Ivan Headache

Under normal service

getting Railcards is very efficient.

I had to renew mine and the Lovely Ivana's cards a month or so back.

Both arrived in less than 48 hours from pressing the button.

I always regarded it as one of the more efficient online quango websites.

East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

Ivan Headache

Re: Hate to say this, but....

The Greater Good.

And in current affairs: Rogue raccoon blacks out city power grid after shocking misstep

Ivan Headache

Clever Raccoon

At long last an opportunity to recount something the lovely Ivana & I encountered while holidaying in Fort Lauderdale.

We had some time to kill and decided to go for a walk in the Hugh Taylor Birch state park while we were there. On the road up to the gates there are some signs saying 'Don't feed the raccoons'. As Brits, we had never seen a raccoon so we asked the ranger at the gate if it was likely that we would see any of these creatures that we must not feed..

She replied that as it was early evening it might be possible as they would be waking up to go foraging in the next hour or so. Anyway after an hour we hadn't seen a raccoon, just some birds and the odd roller-blader and our time was up for going to retrieve the kids so we set off walking back.

As we passed the ranger on the way our she asked if we had seen one. Perhap's another half hour?

We didn't have the time so we wished her good day and set off down the road back to East Sunrise Blvd.

As we were walking down, a creature akin to a young badger in size & colour came out of the undergrowth, crossed the entrance road and disappeared into the undergrowth on the other side about 30-40m ahead of us. No sooner had it disappeared than several more appeared crossing the road randomly ahead of us and going into the undergrowth.

At last we've seen a raccoon - several raccoons. It did cross our minds to wonder why they were all crossing the road at the same time and in the same direction. Logic said food, but what do we know about raccoon behaviour?

Where the park entrance road meets the boulevard there is a set of stop lights and a wide grass verge between the footpath and the roadway.

There was a queue of cars waiting at the red light as we came on to the boulevard.

On the grass verge were half a dozen or more raccoons lined up begging.

One of those sights the both of us will never forget.

There's no need to put the signs up in the park, the clever raccoons get take-aways delivered!

Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Ivan Headache

Re: The real question is: did he want to get arrested?

Apart from claiming to have trodden on a landmine (which is a bit drastic) I'm finding it difficult to come up with a plausible wxcuse.

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

Ivan Headache

I can't get over this

'Food Grade' carbon dioxide.

Has it got added sulphites, an acidity regulator and an anti-caking agent?

Trump’s new ZTE tweets trump old ZTE tweets

Ivan Headache

and the humblest

TSB outage, day 5: What do you mean you can't log in? Our systems are up and running. Up and running, we say!

Ivan Headache

Re: Blimey! This outage is the most outrageous since...

I read that as the KFC shortage of 2018.

Must be something I ate.

Anyway it's now 2018 (on the clock - not the year) and I still can't get in - BUT - the status page now shows Mobile being Up and Telephone being Down.

UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

Ivan Headache

3 days

In an hour's time it will be 3 days since the service was supposed to be back on line.

Except that it's still not. I get directed to maintenanceweb.tsb.co.uk. It's been like that since about 0700.

I went into my branch this afternoon just to make sure that my debits due next week would be covered and the girls behind the desks were able to get in and transfer funds - but very, very slowly.

I'm quite chummy with them and was told that there had been a lot of tears as irate customers were taking it out on them.

It also got me thinking about the folly of shutting down branches 'as everyone does internet banking nowadays'.

Apparently my local branch of Lloyds will be closing later this year.

Brit bank TSB TITSUP* after long-planned transfer of customer records from Lloyds

Ivan Headache

Midnight now

And it's still playing silly Bs.

I managed to get in after several aborted attempts around 1900 and managed to move some cash from deposit to current accounts and it took several minutes between page redraws - but it worked.

I then tried to reduce my Credit card debt and it all looked OK until I got to the bit "enter your password to confirm the payment"

Then I got it again, and again and again until I gave up.

It's now midnight so I thought I'd have another go.

Logging in was almost as quick as it was when it was Lloyds but trying to make that payment was another exercise in futility.

I folks get penalised for late or missed payments as a result of this, is TSB liable?

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Ivan Headache

Re: Ahh, parents

I've posted this once before - but it fits here perfectly.

I got a call saying "I can't find the right page 2."

Pop round and find a desktop full of 'Page 1s' and 'Page 2s'

Turns out that she hadn't realised that when you reach the end of page 1 page 2 follows automatically.

For several months she had been treating every page as a separate peice of paper.

As some of the docs (all progress reports and assessments) were only 1 page in length, her filing went right up the shute when page 2-5 actually married up with Page 1-8. (Or was it Page 1-11?)

'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear

Ivan Headache

Re: Will no one think of the printers?

It's not the chipping of the ink carts that bugs me it's the fact that it's different ink cart for every printer.

Client has just had to replace an Epson but has a draw full of "apple' inks, New Epson printer requires "strawberry" inks. Another client has an Epson that requires "orange" (or is it "daisy") inks so I can't sell them on to him.

We have 2 Canon printers. They both require different carts - and to make sure that we can't mix'n'match they are physically different in size. And I still have a bag full of assorted carts for 2 earlier Canons.

As well as calling these firms on repairs Epson, Canon and HP should be mandated to to make their domestic/consumer printers all use the same ink carts across their range. It's only the 'pro' machines that need anything different.

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Ivan Headache

Re: Along with the associated increase in traffic and pollution.

Thanks for the namecall. Just how many delivery vans visit your street each day?

I promise you It's not the same one doing every delivery.

I live in a small street of about 100 houses. There's a delivery van approximately every 30 minutes - even after dark.

Who's the dickhead?

Ivan Headache

Re: Well at least

"Amazon can deliver same day - via Prime Now."

Along with the associated increase in traffic and pollution.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Ivan Headache

Re: Its powered by magic fairies and gnomes

Where are they getting the Ooffle Dust?

I haven't seen any since the very early 60s.

Getty load of this: Google to kill off 'View image' button in search

Ivan Headache

Re: Bad bargaining

"And whatever contact the BBC has with Getty you can bet it's costing aunty a ton on cash - Getty ain't cheap."

Getty bought the Hulton Collection from the BBC. There my well have been a deal whereby Auntie got free (or cut-price) access.

Not sure but It might be so.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Ivan Headache

I (almost) remember an error message I used to get on a mac some 10-15 years or so back. It went something like "The applicaton has stopped because something deep and unexplained has occurred."

Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

Ivan Headache

Re: A blue butt plug? The guy is a monster...

Are butt plugs colour coded like ski runs?

'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

Ivan Headache

How come I type something, read it, post it.

And it charges into gobblegook?

Ivan Headache

I think I had had it a seconf time.

Elon Musk lowers his mighty erection for test firing: Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage

Ivan Headache

Re: Kiss goodbye to that roadster

Is he sending the batteries as well?

Maplin Electronics CEO ups stakes for steak house

Ivan Headache

Re: RIP Maplins...

Yup. Went into my local Maplin just before Christmas looking a for something specific that I expected to find in a 'components' shop.

But no - no components to be seen anywhere.

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

Ivan Headache

Re: RE Gearbox

Back in the days of yore - about 1967 - I was travelling at reasonably high speed on my Vespa though the dark deserted streets of somewhere near Bloxwich.

Ahead is a humpy-back bridge over a canal. Suddenly, the Vespa, My pillion passenger and me are airborn.

Engine revs go WEEEEEEEEE! and all the lights blew.

We still had about 30 miles to go and quite a lot of that was on unlit country roads. I had to drive with my foot resting lightly on the foot brake pedal.That way the stop-light would come on so I had at least one working light should we get stopped.

Thankfully we made it without hinderance or incident and I made sure I never jumped a humpy again. (Well not on two wheels.)

Apple gets around to patching all the other High Sierra security holes

Ivan Headache

Re: Apple..

I sincerely hope you're right.

And while they're at it they can reinstate some of the useful features of the GUi that now require clairvoyant capabilities to find (if they are still there that is).

Denied: Uber's request to skip to UK Supreme Court to appeal workers' rights

Ivan Headache

That would certainly stop the speeders.

I recently had the pleasure of an Uber ride.

Only trouble was - it wasn't a pleasure.

It was El Reg wot won it: Bing banishes bogus Brit bank banner ad

Ivan Headache

What worries me

is not the fact that this bogus site was listed but the tendency for 'ordinary' folks to use the search box of whatever search engine they use to go sites they regularly visit.

I've seen it myself - people typing 'BT email' into a yahoo search box!

It's particularly common with the over 60s - many who think that Google is the internet and the only way in is through the search box.

I try to explain that it's unwise to trust search results if what you are looking for is financial, and that if you've already been on the website you are searching for then the computer knows it already.

Having said that, if they've been on the bogus site - then that is known too.

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Ivan Headache

And another.

Ivan Headache

The lovely Ivan has the habit of starting a sentence and then fading away before she reaches the bit that contains the information.

And then complains when I haven't done what she has told me to do.

Then she does finish the sentence.

And starts another.

And another.

And another.

Judge: You're getting an Apple data centre and you're going to like it

Ivan Headache

Re: Separation of powers?

What's he betting it will be


First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Ivan Headache

Re: Less gimicks, more stability

And the original iMac that fell down the stairs.

Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Ivan Headache

Re: You ended up with a Nissan Puke? Unlucky!

The guides (or park rangers or whatever they are) use them going up and down Vesuvius.

(Just the outside though)

Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

Ivan Headache

Re: Maplin are an empty store

My local (suburban) Maplin generally has more staff than custoners when I go in there, However the store by Oxford Circus and the one in Tottenham Court Road seem to be permanently busy.

Ivan Headache

Re: 'Everyone loves Maplin'

What a fine holiday camp.

"Wear your comedy shark suite Spike!"

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

Ivan Headache

Re: Throw away those cheap mains leads...

And those gold-plated tos-link connectors - you know those that give you better digits.

Ivan Headache

Back in the 60s

I went to Le Mans to watch the 24 hour race.

I remember one of the Ford GT40s having a large section of of its bodywork held on with (what we in the RAF at the time called) bodge tape.

It was the year Dan Gurney & AJ Foyt wond - I've pictures somewhere - but where?

London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

Ivan Headache

I'm always amazed while looking at my phone on the tube, just how many people have their phones on as hotspots.

Ivan Headache

Re: Smartest route?

If I can I avoid changing lines at Green Park. There is far too much walking to do.

Oxford Circus is an interchange I use a lot (B to V lines generally) but I find that the signage in the station absolutely awful when using the Central line (or trying to get out).

For me (I don't go into the city very much so I'm not counting those stations) the worst pinch point is the tunnel from the Paddington station side ticket hall to the D&C platforms - particularly the westbound platform. When the Heathrow Express was planned they should have given some thought to the plight of foreign visitors with all their luggage struggling up a (invariably blocked) narrow staircase and then down another.

It will only get worse once Crossrail is runnung.

Dolphins inspire ultrasonic attacks that pwn smartphones, cars and digital assistants

Ivan Headache

Re: Thank God ..

This was in China (with free shipping).

Uncle Sam outlines evidence against British security whiz Hutchins

Ivan Headache

Re: Evidence is so last century

What? With these feet!

Smart streetlight bods Telensa nearly double full-year revenues

Ivan Headache

Re: Why?

But will they differentiate between coming and going? What happens if the 'comings' are from opposite sides?

What happens if a 'comer' stops under a street light to ask directions of a young lady who happens to be standing there? Would the light have been on because she was there or would it have gone out because she wasn't moving (much)?

Could we end up with streets behaving like disco light-shows?

On a slightly related topic, back around the spring/early summer of 1965, a mate and I were hitch-hiking from London to Somerset along the A4 (this is when the M4 only went as far as Reading).

We weren't making much progress and had only got as far as Newbury by about 1 in the morning.

Struggling along the deserted main road (probably London Road) as we walked westwards, my mate decided to stop for a fag. He leaned against a lamp-post while he lit up and the moment his backpack touched the post all the lights along the road went out. He had such a fright I couldn't stop laughing. It was almost as if the time-switch was watchng him.


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