* Posts by Tinslave_the_Barelegged

47 posts • joined 6 Aug 2016

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> I have had so many random and weird failures with systemd

A favourite at the moment is one of four apparently identical desktops machines, one of which is stuck in the boot process allegedly trying to make a network connection, either before or after connecting to an NFS server. All is fine in recovery mode and it works as expected, but when systemd has full rein, it spits a dummy and won't tell me why. It may be logging loads in its binary database, but if it won't condescend to letting you log in to look, it's no use. This is not progress.

18
0
Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> arch linux with openRC. To avoid issues

> in future on my desktop

Manjaro (based on Arch) had (may still have) an openrc spin, and indeed, one based on XFCE. I ran it for a while, because it's easy to install. but systemd is tenacious in making demands, and all kinds of little issues came up, all relating to systemd dependencies, and this with XFCE, which should make few such demands. Can't blame those who ran up the openrc spin, because Devuan's timescale shows how difficult it must be to keep systemd out.

2
0
Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Best wishes to Devuan

It's a pity that they weren't able to release in 2015, when it was possible mostly to remove systemd from Debian itself, but it seems they must have been gearing up to understand the way systemd has become a dependency even when you don't use it as an init, exactly the issue Devuan warned about.

I mostly use systemd on Debian servers now, but that's because it's becoming harder not to. It's possible on a server, but you just start hitting little irritants. That demonstrates that systemd is far more than the init it claimed to be replacing. I once swapped MTAs from sendmail to postfix at a company with about 400 users. This was done in the middle of the working day, with no loss of service. That's what the unix way of building blocks for services allows, but choosing to run an alternative init is now what systemd expressly prevents in many use cases. Such a pity that Debian, for one, didn't remain neutral in this.

I'd love Devuan to gain credibility and become a plausible alternative.

45
0

How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: sudo shutdown -h now

> Oh, I meant '-r'

A low blow, sir or madam, especially as my psychiatrist assured me it was simple accident anyone could make, unfortunately repeated.

1
0

Law Commission pulls back on official secrets laws plans after Reg exposes flawed report

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Reflection of societal trajectory

'“This is the latest hypocritical move from a Government intent on operating in the shadows while monitoring every move the rest of us make"'

I've notice on a number of occasions contestants on TV game shows claiming they are civil servants but are not allowed to say what they do. Also, hosts asking obsequiously "May I ask what part of the civil service you work in." as though secrecy was the norm. Now if people genuinely were in a role requiring secrecy, one would hope that they would not be on frivolous TV shows. But the fear is that this is a reflection of the age, when government and government departments can conveniently claim secrecy, which stifles discussion at source. When this approach starts happening trivially, imagine the misuses to which government can put such laws.

Thanks to Duncan Campbell and El Reg for keeping an eye on such excesses.

10
0

It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: The Man In The High Data Centre

Bloke at our small village local being cagey about what he did at IBM. Eventually I twigged and said "Oh, you're working on Pink?" He seemed amazed that anyone would know about it, and eventually chilled, but it struck me that little episode was a good analogy for the problems with the ill fated IBM/Apple dalliance.

4
0

'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> Hardly an unbiased viewpoint, is it?

Not sure bias comes into it, as it was not a report of opinion. The report is there for the reading, and the evidence it took from contributors/witnesses in the open. For example Davis said that no plans had been made for a "no deal" scenario, and he did not know about the EHIC as he had not thought about it. It's not bias to point out that that is a rather cavalier approach to issues which are rapidly proving to be more than the short term political gaming that characterise it so far.

8
0

Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: One small suggestion

> Loch Oich Get Orf my Land

We have right-to-roam legislation in Scotland, so "Get Orf my Land" shouldn't be heard here., and if it is, can safely be ignored.

Re the fear of monotony, it's not likely in the Great Glen as it is utterly stunning, but you could divert to Glen Roy to see the "parallel roads" that caused so much geological headscratching. I'd recommend the site undiscoveredscotland.co.uk for suggestions for roads less travelled.

3
0

UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Colour me surprised

Saw a rather good description - I think David Mitchell - talking about how few Home Secretaries are in any way sane. He described his view of them as home-ophobia

4
0

Huawei picks SUSE for assault on UNIX big iron

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> Linux seems to be moving away from being a Unix lookalike.

While I suspect you may have a point regarding generic "Linux", I'm not sure SUSE Enterprise fits that generalisation. It still seems (just my opinion) more unixy than other distros and seems to hold its enterprise status because of that.

5
0

User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: You missed out

> Cases lined with razor baldes to stop the un-initiated tinkering.

Or the initiated, for that matter. All-metal Dells, especially the servers, were lethal in the early 90s. I recall the case of one server that ended up looking like a butcher shop with my own blood after an especially entertaining tussle...

22
0

Firefox 52 kills plugins – except Flash – and runs up a red flag for HTTP

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Palemoon

>You could try Palemoon. It is a firefox fork with the old firefox UI and seems less intent on making life difficult for its users.

Must agree. I got sick of Firefox increasingly assuming it was the only thing I run, and taking more and more resource, and getting slower while assuring us that performance was improving. Palemoon resolves all those issues. Just wish it used the usual repository update mechanisms.

While we're talking about Palemoon, their Thunderbird version, Fossamail, similar;y resolves Thunderbird issues, like CPU hogging and constant activity.

5
0

Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Give it to us in Adamses

> therefore occupied the same volume of space

Presumably sector ZZ9 plural Z alpha?

21
0

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> Maybe the other half of the department simply carried on as normal with less gaming?

Had an early experience of this in the 90s. It's soul destroying when you're trying to do a decent job but your colleagues seem to have markedly different values. Like this anecdote, a little later, without those colleagues, things were a lot better.

22
0

Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: How do they assess

> The official will compare your scawlings with his listing of the "correct" answer and instantly realize that they do not match

Like the story Peter Ustinov told of his schooldays. The exam question was "Name a Russian composer." Ustinov says "I put down ' Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov'," <long pause> "The correct answer was 'Tchaikovsky."

7
0

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: This will show up the good vendors vs the bad ones.

> Personally sick of companies that take the sweep it under the carpet and hope nobody notices.

Recently had this with a camera. A Fuji randomly shutting down. Reading various forums suggested it was a common issue and that the lens (built-in) was the cause. After a struggle contacting Fuji UK, they said there was no problem with the camera or the lens, but to send it back. They replaced the lens, which resolved the issue. Which, of course, didn't exist.

Why do corporates not take the high ground of admitting clearly to a problem and then resolving it? There's far more to gain and much less to lose that way.

14
0

New York to draft in 250 IT contractors because state staff 'lack talent'

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: In house impossibility

> Why is this increase in complication occurring?

To some extent, it's just life and lifecycles, but in my experience, it's mainly because senior management expect an IT strategy document to have nothing to say about, well, IT.

1
0

Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Just saying

With a melon???

4
0

Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Definition of "mature"

For me, Wine matured around 1997/8. At that time, the only Windows program that really made life easier was the Windows-only Ameol reader for the sainted CIX service. My machine started behaving oddly, and a quick "ps ax" showed that Wine was, indeed, capable of running a windows virus of the era, I forget which, caught courtesy of something downloaded via Ameol, and duly executed as a windows binary. A sort of reverse "DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" moment.

3
0

Government to sling extra £4.7bn at R&D in bid to Brexit-proof Britain

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: If done right, an industrial strategy can definitely work

> I saw nothing about a strategy... only an announcement

Quite, but the biggest implied post-fact is that such an announcement or strategy is now somehow enabled by Brexit - it fits rather well into an EU-wide mindset, and may well be be less risky in that context. There is nothing about the EU that would have prevented a UK government from pursuing a secondary industry policy.

4
0

IT team sent dirt file to Police as they all bailed from abusive workplace

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: What is the correct protocol for dealing with this material?

> This whole situlation terrifies me and frankly I'd have left long ago.

It's easy to say that from the outside, but when you are in these situations, it is far more difficult to act decisively, especially under a regime of constant denigration, designed to make you question yourself and your own standards.

My own experience is that there are some people who deal with large quantities of other people's money who come to believe that they are worth that money, and identify with the power they imagine on that money, as though it was their own. Those people invariably behave in a most unpleasant way, and take a lot of trouble to ensure that any perceived underlings have as much power exerted against them as possible; it's the only power they really have. And while they tend to fold when confronted, they will lash out in a way that damages as many people around them as possible. That's a powerful deterrent.

44
0

Dodgy dealer on Amazon lures marks towards phishing site

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Worrying

> t's simply a matter of tricking the customer into contacting the seller

> outside of Amazon's system,

Aha, a close shave for me then. I was looking for a particular camera, and found a rather too-good price on Amazon. The listing said to email before placing the order, the email being in a {at}aaa{dot}co{dot}uk format rather than @aaa.co.uk. I assumed it was just obfuscated, but somehow it didn't look right. It just smelt off, so I whois'ed the domain and found it to be .ru. I fear my prejudices may have saved me. But it smelt like poo, looked like poo and squished when poked with a stick, so I didn't step in it.

9
1

Firefox to give all extensions their own process in January

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> extremely slow over ssh

Try running x2go over ssh, and run firefox through that. It's by no means similar to local speeds, but quite acceptable even on ADSL connections both sides.

0
0

BT and Plusnet most moaned about broadband providers. Again

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Heaven 17

> Crushed by the wheels of industry?

Only in a world where "industry"=="BT"

Oh, I see. Yes.

1
0
Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Heaven 17

We left PN a couple of months back, after 15-odd years and a load of referrals. But to be honest, if human beings really did respond to the mythical "market", we could or should have left 5 years ago, when their trajectory was clear. Strange how one-sided loyalty turns out to be when corporates are involved.

2
0

Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
Black Helicopters

Snooping means snooping

What is it about the Home Secretary position that radicalises its incumbents?

17
0

Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Probably not good enough

Or another example is the stupidities of the power regulation system. In our area, SSE PD have the monopoly on infrastructure, for which, apparently, they are capped at a profit of 4%. We are off grid, but the power poles run just 70m from the house, so we asked for a quote. They said they would need to add a pole near our house, get a connection from the main lines to our new pole, add a transformer, and we would be responsible for a trench for the last 25m. For that they quoted an estimate of £13k plus VAT. They still make 4%, but on hugely inflated numbers they can dream up out of thin air. Expect the same logic when BT's main board requires the OR board to make a bigger contribution to overall profit.

4
0

Visa cries foul over Euro regulator's stronger authentication demands

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Meanwhile...

My wife has just had to renew her card machine for her business, as she was told her old one was no longer "compliant". That conveniently means another long contract for a new card machine, of course. She is now awaiting the umpteenth phone call, as they have her address details wrong, her business name wrong, the machine is set up incorrectly with wrong details, and she just received a confirmation email containing the banking details of a completely different business, making her wonder who has her banking details. And this from the company that has all her details from the old machine. And they have the nerve to charge her £20 for doing a short box-ticking exercise as a PCI compliance check.

Makes you wonder where the real problem exists.

1
0

Allow us to sum this up: UK ISP Plusnet minus net for nine-plus hours

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Funny how different people have different experiences

Until last month, I'd been with Plusnet for about 14 years. In the early days, if you had a problem, you'd get through to someone knowledgeable, and able to do something that could resolve the problem. Since the BT takeover, proper techies doing support have gone, to be replaced by script readers. A couple of years back, email stopped flowing, and I found they had changed all my MX records for my domains to their own servers. It took hours to talk to someone who knew what an MX record was, and even then they refused to acknowledge that they had changed the records. I moved the domains from them as soon as I could.

The last three occasions I have had trouble also meant 45 minute waits on the phone - they removed or made incredibly difficult to find the old way of reporting faults online.

Moved to a new ISP last month.

A few days later, I got an email from Plusnet to say that money would be taken from my account for the next month's service. I contacted them (45 minute call) to say they;d made a mistake and that I no longer had service from them, cancelling the old DD authorisation in the process. I got batted around to several different people, the last of whom said oh yes, and put the phone down. I took up the battle on the web site and on twitter. Demands for payment continued to be emailed to the point where it felt like a blackmail scam gone wrong - "Your service will be cancelled if you don't pay...." After two weeks, another twitter campaign and more online reporting, they finally emailed to say their automated system had made a mistake.

Moving to another ISP was a hard decision to make; would the grass be greener on the other side? Actually the move itself was a doddle, the only hassles being the ones described above. Plusnet's race to the bottom may be fine, but I was expecting, and paying for, the service I used to get before that race started.

0
0

Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
Pint

Missed opportunity, ElReg

> 'Please don't tell my wife about this' says one, as arcs thrill Kiwi crowds

Had this demo been at NZ's WETA workshop, that could have been:-

'Please don't tell my wife about this' says one, as orcs thrill Kiwi crowds

2
0

Tesla to charge for road trip 'leccy, promises it will cost less than petrol

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: hint to Tesla owners

> (really no fire risk with properly installed Lead Acid).

Speaking as one who accidentally dropped a wire long enough to short my lead acid battery bank (23kWHr) both a fire risk and an unplanned underpants intrusion anomaly are both possible....

4
1

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

The man is a giant...

...so it is hard to argue with his views, but, as has been pointed out above, the QL was amazing for its day and its price point, and was intended more for business than general purpose use. We forget the old RISC/CISC wars these days, too.

And while Linus and his mates must see the most astonishing varied set of hardware, it's hard to agree with him about the Pi being a toy. It's being used in that general purpose way, which is really the "open-ness" he talks about with the x86. Having recently moved a home/small-office server from an atom-based system to a Pi3, from a user/sysadmin perspective there is little to choose between them, and performance is by no means at toy levels. You have to get over learned assumptions when doing this, such as USB-hung disks, but the fact is it works and works well enough.

Rather, I suspect, he points out that the Pi represents a step of adequacy, where the IT world in general represents "progress", defined by faster, more, bigger. He makes that point when talking about designing down to IoT. If he is right, and the IoT become more like general purpose machines, we're in for a lot of trouble.

6
0

Zilog reveals very, very distant heir to the Z80 empire

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Coffee machine

Worked at a place some time back, and happened to be in the coffee room when the technician was servicing the machine. It automated the brewing of ground coffee, using a giant toilet roll (well it looked like that) as filters for the grounds. And in the machine's innards was a Z80. I tried to explain to the technician that the fearful quality of the brew was because of the z80, but some people just want rubbery coffee.

1
0

Snoop! stooge! Yahoo! handed! all! your! email! to! Uncle! Sam! – and! any! passing! hacker!

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
Pirate

What's the difference?

> mechanisms that allowed American intelligence workers

> to scan all incoming Yahoo! Mail

-----

> exposed to hackers in what Yahoo! had called a

> "state sponsored" attack

Sounds like two state-sponsored attacks to me. Really can't see the difference.

2
0

City of Moscow to ditch 600k Exchange and Outlook licences

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Plenty of good Free Open Source Software out there.

> There is nothing open source which can do calendaring at scale.

Really? What about something like Kolab? Fairly sure some installations run to what would be termed "scale".

1
0

Plusnet outage leaves customers unable to stream Netflix. Horrors!

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: After about 13 years, I'm leaving PN

> Come on then - who did you go to ?

Fortunately a clued-up neighbour did a lot of investigating after he decided to leave PN last year. He went with Zen, and they were top of my list, but the PN effect got to me, and I wondered about the glitziness of their web site. I felt I preferred to be with a smaller provider on the "we try harder" principle. So the company I spoke to is Aquiss, who have been going for long enough not to be a fly-by-night but are in the "small is beautiful" range. I had a look at A&A, but their costs seem a little too premium, and I can't work out why a badged Openreach-based service, which is all that would work on our exchange, should cost that much. So it will be either Zen or Aquiss for me. Unless alternatives crop up as a result of this thread....

0
0
Tinslave_the_Barelegged

After about 13 years, I'm leaving PN

Last week, I had the misery of trying to contact PN about a drop in sync speed to 160kbps. You used to be able to place a fault call via the web site, but now it's down the stairs, into the basement (mind the last three missing steps) and behind a door marked "beware of the leopard." So it meant a 45 minute wait, and then spending 30 mins talking to a script-reader. I've stayed with PN because you used to speak to people who knew what they were talking about. Their service really used to be good. After much aggro, I thought I'd phone their accounts dept to confirm when my line rental is up for renewal - also a 45 min wait, suggesting that support and admin questions go to the same team. Did a bit of research into alternatives, chose one and phoned. Got straight through to someone who answered my questions clearly and without pushiness. The difference between the two approaches made me feel stupid for having stayed with PN out of some misplaced loyalty for when their business ethic wasn't trying to to be BT's poor cousin.

2
0

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: No guilt at all

>That said to give this power to a single completely biased entity like adblock is a dangerous precedent.

Agree - that's why privoxy is your friend, and no plugins required. Amazing how many "adblock detecting" sites assume you're running AdBlock.

1
0

Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: standard operating procedures

> You think "Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree" is clickbaity?

Oops. no I don't - a mistake on my part. My apologies, and I should have checked. What I meant at the time, and should have used the 10-minutes edit for, is that the description of firefighters not wishing to approach the car seemed rather overly-dramatic.

2
0
Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: standard operating procedures

> What are the differences,

Just what I was thinking. The headline is a bit click-baity, but the gist is that this is unusuaul, and the fire brigade were unsure. One assumes the firefighters wear gloves, and if part of the battery and been ejected already, the risk was low - lower than, for example, a fire under the petrol tank of a conventional car, for which, no doubt, the firefighters will have procedures.

Though having said that, in response to a post above, this conjecture does feel a bit like defending Musk's reality distortion field.

3
1

SpaceX blast kills Zuck's sat

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Dang

From the RT site, it seems there is a silver lining. The payload was a Facebook satellite to "serve" Africa. Looks like Africa's assimilation has been postponed.

13
0

The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

The Lenovo laptop on which this is typed runs an AMD processor, and, with openSUSE and tlp, I have had it down to under 5w, screen on, admittedly at idle. The days of AMD=excess_power are long gone. I wish the chipset was available as a mini-ITX or similar, as it would make a great home/small office server with that power consumption.

6
0

BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: Has-been talks bollocks.

> Has-been talks bollocks.

He's a politician - he has phorm

4
0

Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
Pint

Oh, I'm old....

My memory may be failing, but I am fairly sure Demon Internet arose out of the "tenner-a-month" group on CIX, that being the amount contributors had to fork out for them to purchase a 64k connection leased line.

Used them for years, but they were bought by Scottish Telecom who then jumped the shark when they went all mystical after the marketeers ate some mushrooms and it became Let-it-be-Thus, or Thus for short.

Also from memory, Demon was the first ISP to provide 0800 dial-up, meaning if you had a spare line, you could stay connected without bankrupting yourself to BT. That meant I found out the hard way I was accidentally running an open sendmail relay, pushing me to posfix when I realised I didn't have the brains to work out sendmail M4 macros.

0
0

Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
FAIL

Re: Now why would I want that?

> Make it easy for people to switch banks (opening and closing accounts)

Exactly. We recently spent two hours opening a new account to switch banks. The reason we switched was that the old bank closed the local branch. They said it was because everyone is now using mobile apps for banking. We have not yet found out how people deposit cash using a mobile app. The old bank closed the account, and started the letter informing local customers with "improving local service is important to us" or words to that effect. With the closure, the nearest branch would have been a 90 mile round trip away.

Three months after switching, the new bank closed its branch.

Remind me how a toothless regulator-mandated tech-gasm is going to improve retail banking again?

7
0

AdBlock Plus blocked in China: 159m forbidden from stripping adverts

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: At least they can't block a hosts file

True. There's http://pgl.yoyo.org/ too. A little script updating the local dnsmasq works wonders.

0
0

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Tinslave_the_Barelegged

Re: I wonder...

> at the same time.

There's a variable 10-20 second delay in streamed "live" broadcasts, so any claims about realtime magic are highly suspect. This alleged wunder-tech has all the marks of the "UK constitution" - it works because "they" say it works, and the default position of the normalisation of state sponsored surveillance is a tech-gasm, no matter how far fetched it may seem.

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017