* Posts by PM from Hell

64 posts • joined 24 Mar 2017


Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

PM from Hell

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

or you'll finally decide to take that useless piece of junk you haven't touched for 10 years to the tip and go through with it.

the following week something will come out of left field that would have been so much easier with the device you just threw away. It's happened to me every single time I had a clear out.

or you'll get rid of a niche device because you can't find the interface cable / 13 volt power supply anjd thart missing part will turn up the day after you have skipped the kit.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

PM from Hell

Another wall?

We've already had the Antonine wall and Hadrian's what do we call the next one?

Before dipping a toe in the new ThinkPad high-end, make sure your desk is compatible

PM from Hell

Re: the monitor is nice

i use a couple of 24 inch iiyama Prolite monitors in my home office. As a PM I spend far too much time in spreadsheets and project plans. I fond that aligning the edge of the screen with the edge of a column lets my brain completely ignore the bezels in the middle. As I managed to buy these for just over £100 each, I've paired these with a Toshiba Dynadock (new old stock) for £30 and a wireless keyboard and mouse and I'm a happy camper working from home.

I bot the earlier version of the dock which only supports a single monitor ( i need to plug the second into the vga or HDMI port on the laptop. The v10 model supports two monitors connected directly to the dock. I'm probably going to replace that shortly. At present a new v10 dock is going for £45 on ebay. The dynadock is quick enough to handle the keyboard mouse and headset which the lenovo dock in the corporate office struggles to do. As this is a discontinued product there are no win10 drivers but you can download the generic displaylink drivers which work very well

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

PM from Hell

not unique

I share my name with my son ( a family tradition) but the site didn't find him. Having said that my name is very rare and as the forename is reserved for eldest sons the combination does seem to be limited to no more than 3 or 4 in any branch of the family (one each apparently in the UK, US and India).

The glorious Brexit uncertainty: The only dead cert on data rules for tech biz in 2019

PM from Hell

Re: My prediction is...

The key difference between brexit and Y2K is that Y2K was a well defined issue, whether it was internal microcode, Bios updates or application fixes this was a comparatively simple issue, the fix was well defined, increase any year field to hold the century as well as year number. I was responsible for planning the remediation project in one organisation with 20,000 employees. The overall impact a large pc roll out, many O/S updates, unplanned application upgrades across every department and the manual remediation of several hundred in house written corporate applications and many thousands of user written access and foxpro systems.

The only way we got the work done in time was to stop all non-statuary changes and divert all development and project staff into supporting the project from 1997 until the end of 1999. Many other organisations found themselves in the same boat. Whilst some contingency planning has taken place and some companies have even invested in property and company establishment in the E.U. many thousands have done nothing yet as they are clinging on by their teeth hoping article 50 is revoked.

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

PM from Hell

Data Center Migrations and application errors

Some of the commentators on this thread have obviously little or no experience of large scale migration projects. When you are migrating several hundred application services there are always errors present in the log files. The apps are often written in technologies you know little or nothing about so you have to rely on the application admins to be honest and knowledgeable about whether reported errors are significant. I always used to ask if the errors had been present during operation a month ago. I soon got used to the answer 'we never check the log files unless there is an outage' These days admins are often responsible for many and with automated event handling many admins no longer know what 'normal' looks like. I this case I place no blame on the poor chump running the migration but lots on the PHB who let any application admins have leave during this period and on the app admin himself for not investigating it further.

Dog with 'psychotic tendencies' escapes home to poop on his neighbours' pillows

PM from Hell

Re: It uses cat doors

Racoons are reliable?

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

PM from Hell

Re: I don't like the aspect ration

use a google chromecast in hotels, most hotel tv's have an hdmi port these days so if the tv itself doesn't have netflix I'll stream to the chromecast from my tablet or phone.

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

PM from Hell

Who are we writing for

If there arethree things I hate in documentation its the use of obscure technical language which can be ambiguous to the reader, the use of over complex language when a simple phrase will do and grammar zealots.

We are not writing works of literature, these are technical guides, process documents and user instructions, they should;d be clear and concise and 'good enough' to do the job.

If a document is clear, unambiguous and correct then it is good enough, I'm not concerned whether the correct use has been made of the Oxford comma, or whether a technical team member who has worked hard to produce a good product has split an infinitive. Also think about your audience, not just in the language you use but also in the length of what you write. whilst a header explaining the purpose of a process may be appropriate for a design document its unlikely to be appropriate for the work instruction to be followed by a harassed agent in a call center who just needs the instructions (or script).

And if you ever do deliver products into a call center be sure to leave enough time for several reviews while the call center manager localises the instructions to suit the team culture. This is not the manager being difficult it is making sure that every thing agents see follows the house style and flow so mistakes are minimised. Your part of the review process is not to try and 'correct' the house style it's to make sure the technical elements remain correct.

OK Google, what is African ISP Main One, and how did it manage to route your traffic into China through Russia?

PM from Hell

Just a reminder

There's no such thing as 'the cloud' it's just somebody else's computer

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

PM from Hell

Re: Fun IT facts about HAL's song

Back in the days of big iron mainframe CPU's used to have speakers linked to the cpu's. During normal operation you'd hear a vague grumbling from the CPU telling you that all things were happy in cyber space. A good sysadmins learnt to pay a visit to the computer suite (normally next door) as soon as anything was amiss. Silent speaker = no CPU cycles and a stalled system, you might be able to bring it back to life by killing or restarting a couples of system processes. Screaming speaker - looping processor - not just heavily loaded and you need to get in and kill the looping process before it brings down the on-line systems and crashed the mainframe, don't forget it would normally take a minimum of 20 minutes to restart a mainframe but if a hard IPL was required you would be looking at 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

I was a Consultant / Diagnostician for ICL during that period and often went on site to troubleshoot unreliable systems. All too often there was a strangely quiet mainframe because the operators didn't like the fact that the machine kept squealing at them so they had turned the speaker volume off. Turning it back up and looking for high CPU usage normally pointed me at the application causing the problem. It was then either back in the hands of the application development team or I'd perform some code analysis to point them in the right direction. Often half a day on site would resolve a performance issue which had been dogging them for several months. Another case of £5 to fix a problem and £4,995 for knowing how to identify the root cause.

Ex-Microsoft manager sues former coworkers and Windows giant over claims of sex assault, gender discrimination

PM from Hell

It is effectively a ban on working in Corporate IT

From the article she worked as a Business Programme manager at Microsoft, looking for another role her skill base would focus her towards environments with a Microsoft infrastructure for their corporate services, target projects would be cloud migrations, moves to office 365, Lync rollouts etc. Being banned from using Microsoft resources would effectively prevent her being successful in that role. Even if she didn't require access to technical resources white papers or marketing materials most of us do require when managing projects if the client was using cloud based services and Azure hybrid id's the ban would seem to extend to that too.

With a Microsoft only CV she would be unlikely to make the interview cut for anything else.

International politicos line up to get shot down by Facebook

PM from Hell

Re: Simples

not quite as simples as it sounds, a lot of us use Facebook as a way of staying in touch with relatives and friends who work overseas. whilst losing access wouldn't be a disaster for me and I'd probably just use a VPN service it would be very disruptive for some people.

Other countries dont all allow access to other messaging services / facetime / skype

This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop

PM from Hell

Re: Google being rather disingenous

I use a set of wireless switched socket adaptors to control background lighting in a couple of rooms, they are both absolutely dumb and cost approximately £15 for 3 st Wilco's.

They have worked very well so far and have removed the requirement to ferret around behind furniture to turn lamps on and off.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

PM from Hell

Is that where the phrase polishing a dog turd comes from?

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software

PM from Hell

Re: Hc Sunt Dracones (AND Windows)

As an IT literate PC user who spent literally thousands of hours supporting the families windows xp and windows 7 machines, often being called in to resurrect dead systems I would like to concur with the previous writer. At the point where I needed to replace my personal laptop it came with windows 8.1 which I did hate. I was on the verge of installing windows 10 when my brother in law ho is not at all pc literate bought the same machine, which by then was being built with windows 10. This lead me to upgrade my laptop to win10 purely to support him as the new UI was driving him scatty. I thought this would be a temporary upgrade but ended up staying on it because it was so stable.This is also the first machine my brother in law has had which has not required an urgent cross country visit to rebuild just before a crucial sales presentation. Having managed some small projects deploying both dragon naturally speaking and jaws the product combination does seem to work well for most visually impaired users. The PDF problem is not restricted to windows or JAWS. If the PDF or web page is created with visual impairment in mind both products work very well. If The PDF creator does not create an accessible file or web designed does not conform to W3C standards then both programs may struggle. Within larger organisations there does need to be a culture change to ensure that both these actions happen. I'm still regularly shocked by young developers who have never heard of accessibility standards.

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time

PM from Hell

Re: Once in the rain ...

Working in a rural location I got used to new suppliers arriving late as they would not believe they would spend 20 miles behind tractors on a regular basis but also the 'oops I've had an RTA phone call as they ditched the car trying to overtake said tractors.

Funniest occurrence was the salesman who drowned the demo printer he was delivering when he slid off the road into a dyke on an icy road, thankfully he was OK but the printer and the car carrying it both ended up submerged in 5 meters of water.

I would ignore late arrivals for the first visit with no penalty but after that would expect them to listen to me when I would tell them to allow 1 1/2 hours for a 40 mile journey during harvest. Beer icon as its friday.

Microsoft Surface to die in 2019? Not while Redmond keeps making it, er, blush

PM from Hell

Re: Surface phone?

You mean yet another good device launched with a fanfare then abandoned a year later with no mainstream apps working?

I still have a Microsoft Lumia in my bedside table. Occasionally I even power it up to use as a media player. This was the device which finally drove me into the arms of Apple.

Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

PM from Hell

Steak and Kidney puddings

I can just about manage without gravy at the chippy here in the midlands but have to return back to the northwest on a regular basis to get a steak and kidney pudding fix.

It seems completely unknown elsewhere in the country and the efforts served up by gastro pubs cant complete with a Hollands steak and kidney pudding chips peas and gravy

Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

PM from Hell
Thumb Up

Wrist Mounted?

Bearing in mind what its going to be used for it may need some very very good image stabilisation

US JEDI military cloud network is so high-tech, bidders will have to submit their proposals by hand, on DVD

PM from Hell

Re: How many bidders...

Ironically I have a couple of internal DVD burners in my spares case plus cables, I just don't have a desktop PC to house them in any more

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

PM from Hell

It's not always the cleaners

I was a newish Tech Support Manager running an established DC where we were getting unexpected disk failures.

Its environmental said my mainframe supplier, when were the floor and roof voids last cleaned. The response from the ops team was 'never' I paid about 10K to get that done.Fantastic not only that mainframe but all the other systems but one became more reliable.

For some reason I had to be in the office at 6:30 one morning so popped into the DC to check everything was OK. leaning against the one system with problems was the ops team leaders bicycle. It turned out when it rained on the way to work he liked to bring it into the DC to let the AC dry it off. Needless to say the AC was also sucking road grit off it and recycling it through £250,000 worth of disk array. One rather shouty conversation later we had another line added of things not to be brought into the data center. Believe it or not the bottom 2 lines above bicycle were Fireworks & Rocket Motors.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

PM from Hell

Re: I think some people might have missed something...

There is a world of difference advertising in a periodical which is read by professionals or on a similar website and restricting visibility of the ad's.

Whilst the majority of computer weekly subscribers were male, our female colleagues were not restricted from subscribing and did so. Similarly I'm sure the vast majority of IT job seekers in the up registered with jobserve are male, but my female colleagues also register when job hunting.

It would never offer to me that when Facebook show me a job advert about a PM role that the female colleague at the next desk would not also be presented with the ad.

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

PM from Hell

Re: Developer PC

I always try and make sure my devs have the appropriate tools for the project and will go to bat if need be.Sometimes even the PM is at the mercy of the PHB's I took over a project many years ago the week TOAD became a commercial product. Just my luck that it needed to be licensed separately for the farcical price of £1500 per copy. My poor devs were given brand new top of the range machines but were forced to use the Oracle development set and vt100 terminal emulators.

I did have a huge bust up with a dev team manager once when I was a tech support manager. He got hold of an evaluation copy of the COBOL compiler for my IBM VM mainframe (*1 off offer 30 day license) because he appointed a contractor who only wrote COBOL (in 1990 when were were a SQL developer shop). He had the contractor in for 4 weeks developed the code and de-installed the compiler. Then it failed User Acceptance Testing. Unfortunately for him I wasn't willing to pick up the £30,000 PA cost of the compiler licence for one module in one app and one of the other devs had to reverse engineer it in Oracle.

Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend

PM from Hell

Re: Feiertage

I got caught out on a contract in Germany. TMobile were booked to install a couple of ISDN lines to put my test centre on the network and the visit was booked on a holiday. I was assured that TMobile would attend even though the business the building was in would be closed. End result 12 hours sat in an office waiting for TMobile who never turned up followed by a phone call to TMobile customer services the following day who told me I should have just ignored the appointment letter, reminder letter and the reminder reminding me we would pay a default charge if there was no access, "because everybody knew the visit would not take place". I then had to re-book the installation and yes that did mean waiting for a new order form to arrive by snail mail, signing the new order and faxing it back. Oh yes, German efficiency cannot be beaten. I was PM on a Euro Conversion project and had my hire car trapped in the city car park for 4 days as they could not take card payments or notes after their conversion (mine went fine) and the car park bill increased slightly faster than my collection of euro coins was growing. I finally managed to retire the car when my hotel received a delivery of coins from the bank.

PM from Hell

Re: Costly? No...

The actual restrictions were CoCom, the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls organized to restrict Western exports to COMECON countries.

During this period I once had to get an export licence from the American Department of Defence for an IBM RD6000 as it was classed as being powerful enough to run ICBM simulations for design purposes. It had more processing power than the combined CPU's of the 7 mainframes I had installed in the datacentre and more total Ram (an incredible 64 MB).

PM from Hell

Re: At Korev, re: tuning a vacuum...

Well your comment was a bit fishy

GitHub goes off the Rails as Microsoft closes in

PM from Hell

Great more automated non-perfomant code

"There used to be this pride in being super technical and getting into the weeds," he said. "That's kind of not cool anymore. What's cool is getting stuff to your users." ®

I think I'm on cycle 5 of this theory in my career, product after product which allows devs to put together flaky prototypes which are then released into the production environment and amazingly, don't scale. Then one of the less fashionable 'geeks' has to strip out the auto generated code which is making the product I/.O bound, disassemble the queries join the same table 6 times and fix the error reporting so it means something to the end user.

Of course this is normally done at 10 pm on a thursday night when everyone but myself and a couple of old techies are sat in a dark office trying to make sure we can get the app in a fit state to restart by morning.

Why is my cheapo Android red hot and switching off Wi-Fi?

PM from Hell

Move to the dark side

The lack of android updates (without rooting the device and installing a custom rom) was what made me move first to Windows 10 Mobile and then (when most of the apps I wanted had disappeared) to an iphone.

IF we ever see a manufacturer moving to a support model which is network independent and committing to the support cycles Apple do then I may move back but there's no sign of it so far and historically manufactures and networks have never delivered this for Android.

The off-brand 'military-grade' x86 processors, in the library, with the root-granting 'backdoor'

PM from Hell

It may have been built by the lowest bidder but it was the lowest bidder to offer the MIL spec. I managed a roll out to gas and electricity network engineers, the guys who work on the high tension services and high pressure mains. They could destroy an ordinary laptop in days (being thrown around the van, used in wet conditions etc. The MIL grade laptops we replaced them with were just about indestructible and the guys loved the fact that they were washable. I can appreciate that battlefield use is an order of magnitude more extreme whilst our guys needed a lappy that could be perched on the edge of a trench so they could look at valve diagrams etc, drop it in the trench then carry on, no-one was shooting at them .

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

PM from Hell

Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

I think I remember that issue, didn't HP provide a clip on tray to collect the dropped letters

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

PM from Hell

Architect Smartitect

I find new build installs are a;;ways a disaster in the making and every time it could have been avoided if the ICT team were allowed to speak directly to the contractors.

Amongst the issues I've experienced were:

A computer suite which overheated as the aircon outlet fed into a dummy clock tower. the builders decide to put plywood panels behind the openings to prevent pigeons nesting there making the tower almost airtight and preventing the heat exchanges working.

The system ran for 48 hours before the heat buildup caused the environmental systems to power down the suite.

A new library with public access computers and staff network on every floor where the inter floor ducting was made by embedding 6 inch waste pipes into the concrete floor. this meant that there was no space for the 100+ cables needing routing thorough the floors and we had to go to fibre, not a bad move but a very expensive option at the time and one which wasn't budgeted for,

Finally getting on site to find the comms room was actually in the roof void and had sloping ceilings, we ended up with 6 different comms cabinets each of a different size and all crammed with equipment rather the 6 full height cabinets.

A university where the comns 'cabinets' were actually doorways into a service void which ran the whole height of the building making installing equipment far more perilous than expected.

Finally every single new build I have been involved in leaked. For some reason leaks always end up directly above racks of very expensive IT equipment, nylon sheeting is not part of my supply list for any new build.

We even had an issues where network cables were laid in a hurry as the building was handed over late, cables were pulled thorough quickly, connected up to network points and tested, PC's installed over night and the room handed over the following morning as staff training was starting By 07:30 all the network points failed ad t turned put the cables had been under tension and had 'shrunk' overnight.

Another item in my new build kit is now a 24 port switch and long Ethernet cable as at the network always seems to fail in at least one room when live use starts.

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

PM from Hell

Sometimes violence is the only answer

At the opposite end of the scale was a large rogue Laser printer in one of our offices. We had many of these devices and most were loaded by users successfully, having trained them to be gentle, careful about engaging toner cartridges in the right slots etc. The exact same model in one office would only respond to extreme force. Follow the guidance properly and the damned thing would throw errors on every tray, ask you to check for non existent paper jams and insist on the whole rigmarole of opening and closing doors and trays in its preferred sequence before condescending to print anything. The only way to guaranteed instant performance was to shove the toner cartridge in with force, this seemed to cow the thing into good behaviour.

it never once misbehaved when an engineer attended and even an internal investigation failed to reveal any issues. It became the one printer in the building which required a service desk visit to change the cartridge. I assume the annoyance of having to walk 300 yards to slam in a toner cartridge resulted in the appropriate force being generated. Just as well it was in the HQ offices and not at the other end of the county.

That went well – not! Broadcom’s value dives after CA biz gobble

PM from Hell

CA Bought my disk compression company

Back in the day when I managed IBM Mainframes I used a clever disk compression technology to reduce the amount of physical DASD I required. I had been fighting CA of for several years when they acquired the company. The CA salesman then scheduled an urgent meeting to discuss the new licencing arrangements on renewal. Typically for CA he wanted to increase the licence cost 6 fold.

I was luckily in the position to be able to point out that the price of second user dads had tanked and it was hardly worth me continuing to operate the software anymore as I now had space for another couple of rows of disks. I was in the rare position of being able to dictate terms to him, carry on with the current arrangement of an RPI increase each year and the Kudos of being able to add us to his list of sites or I would simply commission more physical DASD. The look on his face was something to behold.

Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

PM from Hell

****** Tracing code

I remember being called in to the data center years ago because" the upgraded processors on the payroll system were running at 1% of the throughput of the old system".

While the payroll developer was fighting with my staff over their stupidity and the fact they had obviously mis-configured the system (there was no configuration performed by my team it was installed by the vendor) I wandered over the system console, in the middle of the screen there was a grey flickering box. "Hey Dave I asked, did you turn off your debug mode before setting off the live payroll"?

Cue a very quiet withdrawal of said Dave from the data center. Luckily he had decided to run the smallest payroll first, unluckily for us it still took 6 hours to run instead of 15 minutes so yet again tech support and ops had to work through the night to catch up ad we did want to get paid ourselves.

Shatner's solar-powered Bitcoin gambit wouldn't power a deflector shield

PM from Hell

Re: Too late...

I say old boy, have you forgotten to take your dried frog pills again?

Microsoft Azure Europe embraced the other GDPR: Generally Down, Possibly Recovering

PM from Hell

Re: MTBF vs Blast Radius

=Thats the most idiotic thing I have ever seen anyone publish, Most of us will never go further than stating that "things are OK" or there has not been a major incident for "a while" for fear of offending the gods of hardware or the demons of database recovery. Good look with your weekend outage by the way & I hope you have the phone numbers for a 24 hour pizza delivery service.

Oracle: Think our DB sales are great now? Wait until we actually get the new product out...

PM from Hell

Re: What does 'licensing support' mean

Oh And the instructions to turn on binocular reading was included in the release install guide, but you really should not have turned it on if you didn't want the license cost to increase. What do you mean your DBA/ Unix admin / gap year student isn't a licencing expert???

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

PM from Hell

Re: Not an "autopilot"

I'm surprised by the fact you got any up-votes and can only assume these were from people who live in a metropolitan area who only work at a single site. I'm a Contractor who works all over the country. At the moment I'm fortunate in working close to home. I live in a rural location only 17 miles from my office but could not use public transport to get to work and actually work a full day. Taking the earliest bus in the day out and the last bus home I would arrive at work after 9 am and have to leave by 4:30. The commute would take about 3 hours a day, and yes I am serious. There used to be far more frequent buses but those days are long gone, unfortunately I have also committed the 'crime' of living in one county and working in the next. This means that the bus from my village actually takes me in the wrong direction so I need to travel 30 minute to the next town, wait 15 - 20 minutes for the bus in the right direction then off we go again for another 45 minutes (don't forget the first 30 minutes were in the wrong direction). Driving gets me to work in under 30 minutes and costs a fraction of the bus price. This is true for a large proportion of the people who live in my village. Even people living closer to town need to use cars, parents who need to drop children off at childcare or school cannot use public transport.

And as an aside to the luddites who feel the use of cruise control is insane I do use it to control my speed when traffic is light as I see a benefit in fuel efficiency. This does not mean I give up control or responsibility for driving.

British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

PM from Hell
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Re: I don't get it

The sky is a lovely shade of light grey here today, there's no sign of the big yellow shiny thing at all

Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

PM from Hell

Re: And it's even worse today...

I had this experience as a customer, a certain world wide software company had agreed to partner with us developing a property management system. they were about to miss the code delivery milestone and faced some financial penalties. The software was being developed on an AIX platform, amongst the cartridges they sent was a 3480 mainframe cartridge which we knew they couldn't have written to. on the third attempt they actually sent a cartridge which we had a drive for on a different machine (But there were no IAX drivers available for it). We could finally unpack the tar file to discover that surprise surprise all it contained was an empty directory structure.

Even then they refused to admit the code wasn't ready.

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

PM from Hell

So many credentials so many sites

I'm currently implementing a system where the software vendor has recently been taken over. Apart from the fact that i's now impossible to see status updates on tickets on the call management system, when they do provide a fix the technical team cannot get the fix to an FTP site/ Portal / document repository or forum. They issue them but don't know where they are published. They now have to email me the objects. Of course being inside a corporate network I can't receive very large files, zipped files or executables. I can see this ending in tears shortly. Don't even let me get started about the degradation in service from Business Objects since the SAP takeover where I now have to speak to a salesman if i want a technical whitepaper, or the monster that MyOracleSupport has become since replacing metalink. Sometimes I long for the old days of ICL where I would receive the known error log on 32 microfiche each month.

JEDI mind tricks: Brakes slammed on Pentagon's multibillion cloud deal

PM from Hell

US Navy tech history

Dont forget an early tech heroine. Grace Hopper. Born in1906 Grace Hopper was a leader in the devlopment of early compilers. Grace had the vision of computers being proggeammed in English rather than strings of machine code. She was highly influential in the development of CODASYL specification for a machine and operating system independent programming language. This lead to the development of COmmon Business Oriented Language. Under the hood the majority of large enterprise legacy systems still have their business rules coded in COBOL. Grace retired from the US Nave as a Rear Admiral.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

PM from Hell

GDPR| Changes the rules on data loss.

With the fines for data loss within the EU now reaching up to 4% of Global Turnover corp orates are taking it more seriously

PM from Hell

Deja Vu

This feels like a return to the olden days when I had to provide an office terminal and phone for my 'on-site' engineer. TBH its not much of a problem top provide a pc and some encrypted memory sticks for the IBMer to use if you are a medium sized site, if you just have one server it would be ridiculous.

Of copurse IBM corporately and the engineer personally would have to sign up to my computer usage policy before I could allow access.

Power spike leads Chinese police to 600-machine mining rig

PM from Hell

Re: Maybe marijuana growers will mine instead?

I'll have two of whatever you are smoking

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

PM from Hell

Re: Feeling Old...

I'm afraid your memory has blotted out some of the pain

Kids these days don't understand that we used to have to buy a card specifically to get sound out of a computer, then re-configure each application for it. Then change the card config setting each time we switched applications.


Your mouse can't reach that Excel cell? Buy a 'desk extender' said help desk bluffer

PM from Hell

mouse balls

I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the IBM technical bulletin on delinting mice balls. I only got halfway down before collapsing in tears.

I'm pretty sure it was a real attempt to describe the process to engineers who had only ever worked on mainframe computers.

Apple 'wellness' unit launched for staff: The genius will see you now

PM from Hell
Paris Hilton

Food Services HQ

I had one contract at a food services company H.Q. a few years ago. They set up a new HQ 'flagship' and decided to use this to show customers how to save money and improve staff health. Whilst there were a couple of naughty vending machines, you had to go past large baskets of fruit to get there and most people would settle for a few grapes an applet etc rather than the chocolate bar they got up for. Lunches were not subsided but only cost £2.50 for which you could get a full meal, salad or soup and a sandwich. The menu was carefully constructed to be healthy and return a small operational profit. Almost every day you'd think that you would be hungry after eating the modest sized meals but the reality was they were perfectly sized to get you through the afternoon and not leave you feeling sluggish. They were also delicious. Almost everyone lost weight without trying and both the company and staff saved money, pity more companies can't seem to offer this. Paris icon to reflect the sylph like figure I ended up with (and subsequently lost again)

The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

PM from Hell

Diagnostic disasters

Many years ago I worked with a software engineer a few years older than me. He would often mention that his previous experience as a level 3 hardware engineer. Telling me war stories where he was usually the hero. Once my skill levels hit the point where I was trusted to go solo commissioning new mainframes I was working directly with his old

colleagues. It turned out that while he was a fantastic diagnostician the second he started trying to repair something all hell broke loose. Apparently he was called out to help out with complex issues but was not allowed within 3 feet of the failing hardware and was banned from even holding a screwdriver in the data centre.


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