* Posts by Antron Argaiv

718 posts • joined 18 May 2016


Ever feel like all your prayers go unheard? The Catholic Church has an app for that

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Re: But will they let you delete your account?

You're looking at it from the wrong side. The trick is to get *them* to leave *you*.

I think missing a bunch of "Holy Days of Obligation" is enough to get you excommunicated.

// Mum stopped going to Mass as soon as she left home for college.

// She returned only for my wedding, which was at a Catholic church solely for the benefit of my bride's mother.

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Re: Your piousness is all gone!

Or, in France, Uber Allez.

The French, especially, might be somewhat sensitive about that....

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Re: Was it written in...

Probably runs as a user process. I couldn't see having a "prayer daemon"...

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Re: No point

It's about your devotion, your communication to Him.

Is it really communication if nobody's listening?

// not that I stay awake wondering

// seems to be no $DEITY icon, so...

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

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The papers said he has a license

Pretty big of him, condescending to follow the rules. SHE doesn't have a license. Being queen and all. But I don't think she drives on the public roads. Just a spin around the estate, fast enough to make the passengers grab for the handles. Bonus points if it's someone from Saudi Arabia. Sometimes it's good to be Queen.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

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Re: Many mysteries

True. I was always told that my dad's family emigrated from Scotland to Kentucky. Which they did. But my DNA test came out 40% Norwegian. Seems the Vikings got around as well. And there's a smidge of Middle Eastern, as Mum's Italian ancestors were traders from Smyrna, and apparently there were some locals mixed in.

We are all immigrants, it's just how far back you need to look. And I'd argue that the blending of cultures makes us (USAians, but others as well) a richer nation.

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

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Re: Conquest of Africa?

The US has a dept of defence


The USA has a Department of Defense.

// USAian who is conflicted

// did 3 yrs of primary school in Australia

// pounds, shillings and pence Australia

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

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Re: I'm not even sure that half the developers read the prompts they are adding

Shouldn't it be:

[Cancel][Cancel cancel]

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Re: I can believe it!

The problem is not that they are *prohibited* from refilling the paper tray, nor is it that each ream of paper must be accounted for (thankfully, we have not descended to that!), but that my cow-orkers are simply too *lazy* to refill the tray.

Also too lazy to dispose of the remaining food in their dishes, rinse them and place them in the dishwasher, leaving dirty bowls, plates and food remnants in the communal sink.

Such is life.

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

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Re: Testing gone wrong

Talk about being in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.

Cant stop watching it.

Microsoft vows to destroy Office, er, offices: Campus to be demolished and rebuilt

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VAX, natch.

Mainframe brains-slurper sues IBM for 'age discrim', calls Ginny and biz 'morally bankrupt'

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Seems to be a job requirement pour les Grandes Fromages.

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

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Re: Same user - same problem twice

I do the same. HDDs are about $100. Cheap insurance, and, once you have insured that all the data has been transferred, you can use the old drive as a secondary (or for something else).

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

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new company

My company just got acquired. The new company sends out scads of "feel good" employee communications, plus loads of IT system status messages, most of which dont concern me.

They alxo, I discovered, have hired a company with the email domain of "phish-me.com" to send out periodic phishing test messages. I fell for the first one, something about security update that looked official on my newly created account, but have now filtered those out.


Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

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Re: It'll never happen...

Easy way to fix it:

Write an email filter to dump emails with any of the variant TO: addresses into the deleted folder. Problem (for you) solved!

At some point, the holder of the similar email will twig to the fact that he is missing a lot of emails.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

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Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

You, sir, have hit the marital jackpot.

Mine drives a Jeep Wrangler with a stick shift.

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Re: No interference?

Quality Chinese Engineering.

If you have some time, take a few of those imported gems apart. You will have nightmares.

I suggest starting with a Chinese power strip. Bonus points if it doesn't have a UL (or CE) mark.

Even more bonus points if it does, but it's bogus.

Safety comes in a distant second to profits.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

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Re: As time goes on the space program gets more amazing to me @jake


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Re: That Genesis reading

Or, maybe NASA thought, "you volunteer to get into a tin can and let us fire you around the moon, we will let you read pretty much whatever you want as a personal message on Christmas Eve."

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Re: Fake news! The moon landings were a hoax!

Its true, except Kubrick was such a stickler for accuracy that he insisted on filming on location.

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

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Re: I remember a fix...

Latest Win10 update to my work laptop has Cortana chewing up processor cycles. Fan coming on intermittently (never used to do that). MS doesnt want you to turn Cortana off. Bloody idiots.

Do fhey really expect office workers in open plan offices to be talking to Cortana?

Nothing would get me to change jobs quicker.

Googled and found that disabling search is the only way fo disable Cortana.

Happy New Year, and thanks to all at El Reg for the interesting and wildly humorous tales.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

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Re: Remember

There's a lot of AGC stuff on the web - beginning with John Pultorak, who built his own from scratch, to the AGC simulator, to the hacker who built her own DSKY, to the guy who bought one at a scrap auction and is paying to have it brought back to operational status, including building his own DSKY for it.

I watched a lot of the flights, from Alan Shepard in fourth grade, to the Apollo 8 Christmas reading, to the "one small step..." of Apollo 11. We could do it again, I'm convinced, but we need to bring back affordable, quality education for all. Never mind building a wall, make it possible for inner-city kids to go to college.

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow

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Re: Trial version of Windows


Because, at this stage of their corporate life, Microsoft's priority is profits over performance.

// it's been that way since XP or thereabouts.

// love the new comments page layout

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That's why the ladies at the front desk and the office manageress, the IT drones and their boss get a little something from me every Christmas.

Nothing significant, but *every* Christmas. I have never missed one. Because when "stuff" happens, these are the folks who are a big factor in getting whatever it is, "un-stuffed"

Also...Sysadmin Appreciation Day.

// Take care of the people who take care of you.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

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Re: Why haven't they thought of.....

And no bras on the well endowed (of course) ladies.

You could pay for it all by selling videos afterwards.

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

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Re: The US can't be too careful

Mr. Mueller's working on making that official.

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Re: Good luck

(which is pretty much impossible as he was born in the US...)

The current administration would like you to hold its beer...

How low can they go?

They just deported a group of Vietnamese and Cambodians who came here as refugees. Allegedly, they are all criminals. I would not be terribly surprised if they are minor crimes, but no details were given. With the current administration, assuming the worst is usually a safe bet.

// disgusted.

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Big Brother

More disturbingly, this seems to happen much more frequently if you're not old, white and/or Republican.

And, if we allow it to continue, that may very well change. These officers were abusing their authority and need to be held to account. We like to think they are trained, objective professionals, but too many of them are drunk with power and enjoy the ability to wield their authority with no consequences. That sets a bad precedent, and needs to be firmly stopped.

Otherwise, see icon.

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants

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Re: Hah!

I, too have hacked an SGI (Indigo) to get root. In my case, I did not have to use the NVRAM password, (though I did have to replace the NVRAM battery!) the previious sysadmin had left the "demo/demo" and "guest/guest" users active, and I was able to read /etc/passwd. John The Ripper to the rescue, and a cup of coffee later, I had the root password (because this is "old" Unix!).

Next surprise was that SGI's Unix, unlike all others, does not include cc -- you have to buy it! Working on that...

Godmother of word processing Evelyn Berezin dies at 93

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CHM oral history

The interviewer was Gardner Hendrie. He was my grand-boss (boss's boss) at my first job out of college.

He was also the engineer who designed the first 16 bit minicomputer for Honeywell.

Small American town rejects Comcast – while ISP reps take issue with your El Reg vultures

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Re: @Christoph

This is Massachusetts. We tend to frown upon laws like that. Comcast/Xfinity have a hard row to hoe around here, because we have several towns which are making town-owned utilities work just fine, thank you.


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Re: Democracy at its best!

...don't tell those who have voted for it that this is called socialism...

One man's "socialism" is another man's "States' Rights" or "local initiative".

To be fair, it's not socialism, because the residents are going to be paying monthly ISP bills. It's just that they won't be paying them to Comcast.

Shrewsbury (the one in Massachusetts) built their own cable system (at least 20) years ago, it's still going strong and they offer higher speeds at lower cost than Comcast. Perhaps because they don't have to pay outrageous executive "performance bonuses"?

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Re: Good for Charlemont!

I went to school with someone from Charlemont. It's a *very* small town, and I'm not sure it's even on Comcast/Xfinity's radar. The population density is low, there's not a lot of money there, and the profit margins would be pretty thin, I suspect. Not worth Comcast's attention, which is why they don't have good (or any) internet.

You can bet that Town Meeting had a lot of debate before the town decided to build their own network. And good on them for deciding to do it. It's really no different than building roads or sewers. And now that POTS service is being abandoned because it's no longer profitable, Internet is really the communications system of the future.

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

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No cost to the suppliers

Once you get an infrastructure inplace, the cost of connecting an additional customer (if you've planned your network correctly) is very low. Likewise, the cost of supplying 100Meg broadband (as long as you're not trying to do it over RF carrier on coaxial cable).

The Greatest Country in the World(tm) should be able to manage getting fiber to every doorstep. We did it in the last century with electricity and POTS, we should be able to do it with fiber. Sure, it will take work, and sure, the ISP execs won't like it, but at this point, 25Meg broadband should be everywhere.

Lenovo tells Asia-Pacific staff: Work lappy with your unencrypted data on it has been nicked

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Re: Meet our CSO, Mr. Hindsight

"Lenovo takes the security of employee information very seriously."

So seriously, in fact, that, instead of keeping it on company servers, accessible only through a VPN, we let employees walk around with it on their laptops, unencrypted.

Methinks Lenovo's definition of "security" is a mite more lenient than mine.

// what *possible* reason is there for an employee database with all kinds of sensitive information to be on a worker's laptop?

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

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Re: Unencrypted passwords in user profiles

I should also mention: I have the front panel to a Nova 3 somewhere in my attic. I salvaged it from a machine headed for the scrapheap.

Real Computers have switches and lights.

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PDP-8, FOCAL and the 1130

We spent the same years in high school, I guess.

Before the HS got our 1130 (in my senior year), we had an IBM unit record setup. This was used to run attendance reports, submitted on mark-sense cards, for the 15 or so schools in town. I thought it would be cool to work there, so I applied, and for some reason was hired for 15 hours a week.

The 402 accounting machine, used to run the reports, was a motor-driven relay logic behemoth, weighing about as much as a small car. It was basically a glorified adding machine combined with a printer, which took its input from punched cards and you told it exactly what to do by pushing jumper wires into a 12" x 24" Bakelite plugboard. I actually took a course and learned how to wire the plugboard (being a fan of moribund technology). I also learned how to run (and unjam) the 082 sorter. Surprisingly, this came in handy in college, when we were learning sorting and searching algorithms. Card sorting (from the least significant column to the most significant) is bubble sort.

Thanks for the memories...core, of course.

// face down, 9 edge first!

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Re: Unencrypted passwords in user profiles

I worked for DG.

DG was smarter than that.

Not always :-)

But IIRC, there's an option, when setting up a UNIX system, to encrypt passwords. It's supposed to be enabled by default, but maybe...

CSB: when DG decided that maintaining their home-grown schematic capture system was silly, the engineers all got Sun workstations. Shortly thereafter, they discovered "xnetrek". 50 engineers roaming the known universe, shooting at everything that moved, is a surprisingly effective way to bring a thick-wire 10mbit Ethernet to its knees. A memo was issued requesting that conquest of the galaxy be restricted to after four o'clock.

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Student days

Ahhh...the memories

I had acquired for myself, a Teletype and modem before arriving at school. This meant that I could access the timesharing system from my dorm room, rather than having to trek tot he shared terminal room on campus.

Not knowing how to maintain my Teletype, I wandered into the Computing Center at the end of my first year, and discovered that they were looking to hire a Teletype repair person. I applied for the job, stated that my qualifications were that I was in the EE program and owned a Teletype, and was promptly hired!

I spent the next three years, with a permanent login to the mainframe, no time limit and access to all the free manuals I could ever want. This turned out to be handy.

After my first week of Linear Algebra, I decided I was finished finding matrix determinants by hand, and learned APL to complete my assignments without having to multiply and divide all night.

When my Assembly Language class was invited to submit our programs on punched cards, I learned how to do remote job entry using a file of card images submitted from a timesharing terminal,

As I entered grad school, I salvaged and repaired an old DEC VT05 "glass teletype" and upped my speed from 110 baud to 300 baud.

Playing around with this stuff probably taught me at least as much as I learned in my formal classes.

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

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When adding a daughter board to a PC we used to leave the mains cable connected...

I did that, once, when adding memory. Destroyed the memory and the motherboard. In the manufacturer's defense, there was a lit LED on the motherboard, which I ignored, because I was tired, inattentive, or both.

Lesson learned.

Mains cable is now always unplugged before opening the case.

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

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Re: How long before the courts move into the modern world?

Telex???? It must mean something else where you're from.


In the USofA, it was an antiquated 5-level teleprinter service, last offered, I think, by Western Union (who is now solely a money moving company, I believe)

Funny thing it, the Telex system *did* have answerback. I used to repair 8-level teleprinters and that super-secure answerback you refer to is merely a string of characters, spit out from a primitive PROM (a rotating drum with 5 or 8 levels of tabs; break off the tab for a "1", leave it on for a "0") in response to receipt of a "WRU" character. NOT hard to spoof.

In college, I had a KSR-33 in my dorm room, the answerback drum was coded with my "username, CR. password, CR", so to log on, all I had to do was hit the HERE IS key.

Now, getting yourself ON a Telex network (if they still exist) might be well-nigh impossible. But, once you're on, you could spoof to your heart's content with a microprocessor and a UART (if you can find one that still does 5-level characters)


FYI: NASA has sent a snatch-and-grab spacecraft to an asteroid to seize some rock and send it back to Earth

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Re: Serious Question

How do they orbit something roughly 500 m in diameter?

A: Very carefully.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

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Re: 1970's black-and-white

5247 FTW -- slides *and* negatives. Oregon Labs IIRC. Much less expensive than Kodachrome, but not as long-lasting.

Baroness Trumpington, former Bletchley Park clerk, dies aged 96

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Re: A Good Life

...as did mine (though on the other side of the pond -- Nebraska Ave in DC).

I think probably the worst part for her was being kicked out the door at the end of the war, being told "thank you very much, now get out". At 25, having had all that responsibility and having accomplished so much, to be told that your services are no longer required, and you should settle down and raise children (which she did, and very well, too) is somewhat (!) of a slap in the face.

But that was how they treated the women who ran the country while the men were off fighting.

Here's to them all!

Microsoft reveals terrible trio of bugs that knocked out Azure, Office 362.5 multi-factor auth logins for 14 hours

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Re: This hit us bad.

Cheaper? ...for now

Faster? (does anyone else remember diskless workstations, and before them, diskless X-terminals?)

More reliable? From Microsoft? Surely, you jest...

In theory, computing in the cloud should just work...multiple redundant servers, load balancing, unlimited storage and blindingly fast speed -- all those goodies. And The Internet hardly ever goes down, right?

Thankfully, my company has not yet converted to O362.5, but the indications are that it will eventually happen -- Microsoft will force us to.

We also have (an outstanding) in-house IT staff, but have recently been bought by a much larger corporation. As long as they don't outsource IT support, we'll probably be OK...

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

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Re: Screwdriver? Try a spanner!

Have not done that. Close, but have never done it.

Best I have done is to melt the blade of a screwdriver.

Before working on a mains circuit (which I believe to have been shut off), I first meter it, then short it with a screwdriver, just to be sure (taking the appropriate safety precautions, of course - safety glasses, etc)

I have drawn a spark more than once.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

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Re: Bad advice

I'd be highly skeptical of ingesting anything from Russia, given recent events.

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die

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Re: Analogue Radio Must Never Die

The Navy do now, and Morse as well.

Got a tour of an Aegis destroyer last summer, and asked the nav officer (he looked about 18) exactly this question. He practices several times a week, and compares his fix with gps.

They also had a blinker and people who could use it.

Now, no paper charts...thats because updating them was a huge manpower drain. Its all e-charts now, he said.

What's big, blue, and short on Intel? The supercomputer world's podium: USA tops Top500 with IBM Power9

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Re: What are the costs of these machines ?

If you have to ask, you can't afford one...

...but maybe buy it on the "core a month" plan?

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Publicly Known

To me, the two most interesting words in the article.


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