Right from the start I thought this was some kind of stock market scam. I'm even more convinced now.
3808 posts • joined 8 Sep 2007
They are strange. Very strange.
I once went to the retirement party of a woman who has spent her entire working life doing secretarial work. The result was we were a mix of people from all walks of life, making for an extremely interesting party. There was one small group though that coalesced in one corner of the room and didn't interact with any of the rest of us - they were all primary school teachers!
What you need to keep in mind is that all of this is the result of nearly a century of very careful selection and placement of the 'right' people in the right places. Sadly I see no likelihood of this changing in the foreseeable future.
Incidentally, does anyone know of any of our so-called regulators that is not a mistress of the group it is supposed to be regulation.
I rather like the relatively simple architecture. Hopefully this results in fewer hardware 'oopsies' - unlike some other types we know so well. It should also be much easier to code. I remember in the days of coding ARM2, it was amazing just how much functionality you could get out of a very small, highly orthogonal instruction set
Especially when the information you are given about the installed system is wrong.
On a factory automation upgrade our people insisted on getting timings for every part, right down to solenoid actuation. We built a sophisticated test rig with all those times built in, then added extra to allow for slow or sticking ones, and as many failsafes as we could think of.
When we installed it the system wouldn't even start. One of those failsafes kicked in. We had been assured the vacuum system took 1 minute to get to a usable level - even though we had doubts and allowed for 2 minutes. It actually took at least 10, not helped by the fact there was a leaky pipe that was known about, but not by us.
... but not a problem I'll ever have. My email client simply doesn't have a 'reply all' feature, and was chosen with that very much in mind.
OK, so I'm not a business with thousands of clients, but even so, by now there should be a separate system in commercial products specifically for sending bulk messages where and when wanted.
P·S. I was going to say 'needed' but that's debatable anyway - needed by whom?
It will be put in a museum with great fanfare, then as interest in it wanes, will be moved by degrees to less auspicious locations, until it is almost forgotten. There will be a brief resurgence of interest when it is stolen to order for some obscenely rich person's private collection.
In tens of thousands of years time, archeologists in special protective gear will find it while searching though the highly radioactive remains of what appears to have been a fairly advanced civilisation. Recognising that it contains important metals that are in short supply it will be immediately taken to the Whole Earth Technology centre to be put to use.
Actually, yes they did!
It was a work of art. A double hinged sort of cabinet top with gas struts, and nicely balanced so you could easily lift it up and back with one hand to make adjustments, then when closed, switching the folder in to 'Run' locked it in place. Apparently the HSE wonk almost wet himself with pleasure and insisted that a similar guard was fitted to the other folders - quite unaware that it's primary purpose had nothing to do with safety!
A print detector on a leaflet folding machine checked there was print on both sides of the paper. If either sensor read the wrong number of lines the machine was stopped. This had worked perfectly for several years, then we started getting reports of intermittent false positives. Whichever of us was available would go there and have a look, but everything behaved perfectly each time.
We started to get some vague suspicions when told the problem only occurred on the late shift and I was the lucky chap ordered to do the overtime. I knew the way to the machine and started poking around but everything seemed OK, at which point one of the operators came along and helpfully switched on the main lights, and the sensor reading the underside immediately faulted. The operator commented that it always seemed to be that one (information that nobody had given us before), then went on to say it only happened after they moved the machine. Looking up, there was a massive 8 tube fluorescent unit directly above.
I chopped up a large cardboard box to form a makeshift tunnel, and everything ran fine. The production manager laughed when he saw the fix, but still signed off the work, and said he'd get the maintenance crew to make something more permanent, adding that it was about time they earned their pay.
I'm actually astonished that there are still people who still believe Dick's bare-faced outright lies - If ever someone was well named it's that apology for a woman - who incidentally has been 'punished' by being made the boss of the MET.
You couldn't make it up!
Not really the same class of problem but I remember getting mightily confused by some 6502 assembly that crashed only when an attempt was made to access the last few items in a fairly short lookup table.
I eventually found the problem after many hours. I'd used ROR instead of LSR to turn the index into an offset. With ROR the 'carry' gets pushed into bit 0, and this was only being set by the calling routine for the way the higher indexes were created.
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