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* Posts by Terry 6

2276 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Terry 6
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Restaurants

I'd also, in passing, give a dishonerable mention to restaurant web sites that download a PDF when you click on their "menu" tab, instead of just opening a menu page with the bloody food list displayed.

Why? Just why?

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Terry 6
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Re: Format of choice for immediate offline reading, easy sharing or simple portability

There's a "yes but.." aspect. I, as a consumer, do get to see far too many PDF instruction manuals that display really poorly on my PC's screen, or even worse, print in a font too small to read.. And that jump from the bottom of one page to the start of the next as I scroll. Not the PDF standard's fault, just the idiots who created the document.

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Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

Terry 6
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Health Lobby

Just my impression, but it does some times appear that the health promotion profession attracts the type of Modern Puritan that think anything enjoyable must be bad for you. Often, of course it is ( think smoking). And to excess usually is. But demonising of simple pleasures seems to be a reflex for these people. At its worst that actually weakens their influence, too.

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Israel cyberczar drops hints about country's new security initiative

Terry 6
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Re: @Terry 6

MrRimmerSIR I think you miss the point.

Hint - The OP that I responded to suggests that Israel's cybersecurity would be "used to restrict their own people from accessing parts of the Internet, " And I said I'd "Like to see them try......"

Think before posting.

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Terry 6
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Like to see them try. Israelis are not known for doing as they are told. If there's a rule they'll find a way to break it.

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Terry 6
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Re: Not Millennials!

Millennial not the same as hipster. All hipsters ( read "prat") may be from the generation of the millennials. But most of these are no more hipsters than you or I. Any more than my generation are all "gammons".

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/shortcuts/2018/may/14/is-it-offensive-to-call-ruddy-faced-middle-aged-tories-gammons

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Terry 6
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Re: Trackball can be worse....

Some years back we arrived in a school I was visiting one morning to a ghastly stink of urine. Cleaner was using same mop for urinals as for floors.......

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Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

Terry 6
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Re: What are you on about?

It seems like every update something goes wrong on one of our home computers. Usually not the working of the device as such. Just an update that stalls, fails, cancels or, most often, keeps telling me it needs to restart to update after it's already been updated and restarted..

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Terry 6
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Re: MS abandoning Windows??

Since Microsoft have apparently restructured ( others here will TBH know much more about this than I) and become much less Windows focussed it's clearly a yes.

So many ordinary users use their smart phones to do TwitBook and Google to search, with Amazon to shop that consumer PCs are a diminishing market. Most home users don't much need a computer, they are content consumers, not producers. School kids and students need a home computer. Beyond that it's business. And none of these markets are going to replace machines as often as they used to. And frankly, why should they. Several years back we reached peak upgrade. Very few users have computing needs that exceed the capacity of a machine made after about 2010.

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Terry 6
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Re: If it was only security patches

sabroni Just replied so that I can offer (see icon).....

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Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

Terry 6
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Re: Lira?

Re: London and the South East subsidise the rest of the country,

Rather depends how you define that. Some might say that London drains investment opportunities way from the rest of the country and gets a disproportionate share of infrastructure investment. It's Cross Rail versus electrification.....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/21/day-of-moaning-declared-in-north-of-england-transport-rail-electrification

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Terry 6
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Re: Lloyds

Some things don't change. Even in a mega-million quid concern there has always been a layer of beancounters looking at a small but essential cost and saying "£100 for that. Never. You'll have to make do with a £10 alternative."

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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Terry 6
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Re: I don't mind advertising

And reportedly the national grid prepared for the power surges during the ads in Coronation St. in the days when we all watched at the same time. Kettle time.

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Terry 6
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Re: The thing is... it's nothing new.

Re: I'm sure Anglia Windows would like an MBNA credit card

As a side comment, if Anglian Windows were the last glazing company in the world I'd refuse to use them. Spamming bastards of the worst kind.

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Terry 6
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Re: The thing is... it's nothing new.

I did/do read the adverts in magazines, when I'm actually looking for something - it's one data source. And if I'm not in the market for a product I might still glance at an advert that appears attractive and doesn't get in the way of my reading the journal. I don't read magazines that force adverts on us by splitting articles into (contd. on page 37).

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Terry 6
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Bean counters

It's worth bearing in mind that with most modern companies being run by bean counters who think they need to be gouging every penny in the shortest possible term, even if they could get income directly from their web sites' services they'd still want to plant ads and track users to sell their data on. Profit is profit and extra short term profit means improved share value and big bonuses. They might start by using a subscription only model, but then the gouging ad serving data gathering would creep back.

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Terry 6
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Re: If only I could pay

Yep. I used to allow ads. I even clicked them from time to time to pay my way. Until the ads became so intrusive that they killed the content, ( and content started being created for the sole purpose of serving ads) And then it was adblocker,r,us as far as I'm concerned..

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Android users: Are you ready for the great unbundling?

Terry 6
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Insulting too.

Yes

They can install any old crap they want, and as much as they like as far as I'm concerned, so long as it is just installed and not part of the factory firmware image. They can pre-install their shite on the condition I can remove it if I choose.

This idea, which is common to Google/Microsoft/Samsung/et al, that some apps have to be unremovable is strangely insulting. Why do I have to have software clogging my device that I won't ever use? By all means put it on the machine if they must. But forcing it to remain there? Why? What do they think they'll gain by insisting that Twitter or "Connect" are fixed into our devices? Should we want these things they are easy enough to obtain. An OS should make the device work. A mobile OS arguably needs the basic phone/text software as well. But beyond that there is no need to glue stuff in there.

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Terry 6
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Re: The implementer's motto: In the days of pen and paper, initials were double edged too ........

Oh yes. I've had that one through a good(?) few times. Back in the days when stuff wasn't so reliable. An item coming back as "no fault found". But it still didn't f***ing work. And items we sent for repair were always checked out by myself and our full time IT guy to make sure the user hadn't caused the problem.

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Terry 6
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Joke

Re: Staff don’t care about access to the computers

Old story. At night as the staff left the building site one builder would bring out a wheelbarrow load of spoil. The security guard checked through very carefully, but found nothing, Just muck. He eyed the load suspiciously, but couldn't find anything. This went on every night for weeks, every night he checked the load,carefully. Just a big pile of mud. On the final shift he stopped the builder who was, for the first time, leaving empty handed.

"OK", he said. "It won't go any further. The job's over. I know you were knocking something off, somehow. Just tell me, for my own peace of mind. What was it.

"Simple", he answered. "Wheelbarrows".

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Terry 6
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Re: Staff don’t care about access to the computers

Well, no. If the coffee whitener story is taken a face value then being inherently dishonest is what cost them their job

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NHS England fingered over failure to forward patient correspondence

Terry 6
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Note to contractors out

Signing a contract limits service It does not define a minimum service, it defines a maximum one.

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Terry 6
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For once it seems as if Crapita aren't (mostly) to blame. An NHS management team that lacked the imagination, understanding and planning skills to spot that there wouldn't be a seamless transition from old system to new. And it sounds like this was compounded by they or a different team being unable to identify or manage glitches when they occurred.

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

Terry 6
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Hmm. When I hear people whinge about health and safety or having to risk assess a situation I think of these kind of stories.

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Yarrrr, the Business Software Alliance reckons piracy be down, me hearties

Terry 6
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Re: Piracy does not hurt who you think it hurts

JulieM well argued. The retail value loss of pirated software was always a bit of a nonsense. Or indeed home copied music. If people were thinking about paying £x00 for a retail product and then decided to get a pirate version it'd hurt the publishers. If they were never going to buy it in the first place the publishers won't feel a thing. Similarly buying and swapping music CDs didn't much hurt the industry. People bought what they could afford and swapped the rest. Arguably more likely to buy something if they knew it was swap worthy.

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Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build

Terry 6
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Re: They say history repeats itself.

When they say it's built from the ground up I assume they mean it starts dirty and then piles stuff on top

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Terry 6
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Joke

Re: They say history repeats itself.

"If Microsoft is smart,"

See Icon

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Terry 6
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SSD issues

My Dell laptop with SSD failed to update. ( I voluntarily update, but have images of the OS partition dotted all over the place in case I need to go back).

It's a Dell fitted SSD, but I have no idea whether it's one of the affected ones.

But now it's on the latest version - so must have installed without me noticing(?)

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

Terry 6
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Now

There are presumably TSB account holders thinking that at least they had a Visa card to see them through the problems.

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Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

Terry 6
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Re: No coffee I bet

There are a lot of people who have been persuaded that strong coffee means bitter dark roasted coffee, as opposed to coffee that has sufficient strong flavoured, Arabica beans,. It's a way of selling less for more. Providing an insipid amount of coffee with a lot of carbonised coffee oils to make it taste of more. Just not of morecoffee. Even espresso ( it was expresso when I was a lad btw) needs a reasonably high ratio of coffee bean to water to be strong. Not just dark roasted.

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Terry 6
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Re: Other Pie & Cake outlets are available. !!!

Baking tray of water on bottom of oven. That'll give you the steam.

Paul Hollywood's tip.

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Terry 6
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Re: Have always liked Greggs

I've grabbed a Gregg's pie when I've only had a short lunch break. They do the job when needed. And I prefer their iced buns to most retailers'. e.g. Waitrose, who seem to add vanilla or something which just spoils the natural sugary thingness of it.

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Terry 6
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Re: Wait a minute

Shouldn't that be "with avec".

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Terry 6
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Re: Food resembleing other food

And to add to cursokeys comment, if you drink milk then there have to be calves (i.e. veals) produced. A fact of life. Better to eat them than they being used for dog food.

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A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

Terry 6
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Re: On time, on budget, good quality.

Not being a programmer, or indeed having ever worked in any kind of production system, this does raise in my head the question that has popped up so many times when hearing about these sorts of issues. "On time and in budget" does presuppose that the time needed for the task and the funding allocated bare some resemblance to the amount of time the job will realistically take and the cost of doing it. But in none of these or any other discussions have I gained the sense that the people setting the time frame and the costings are actually in a position to make a realistic assessment of how long it will take, how many people need to spend how many hours using how much equipment and how many delay risks there are. "On time" instead comes across as being the bait to catch the client and the budget is generated by working back from how much the client will be persuaded to spend and deducting how much profit the company wants to make. The actual costs being considered insignificant in the tendering and planning stages.

Or have I got this wrong?

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Terry 6
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Basics

It's some decades since I learnt to code, as a kid. Almost as long since I did any (amateur) coding at all. But even so - I was taught that you start by getting the logic right, then code to the logic. Each step matched to the outcome that the logic called for. And debugging involved making sure that that section of code did what the logic wanted it to. Passing dummy data to the code and making sure the output==what you expected it to. That (pseudo code) example looks to me like a rather simple piece of logic, something well within my own limited ability. Which suggests that the debugging stage I was taught to use didn't happen. i.e. no one passed any dummy data through that module. Maybe because amateur programmers aren't paid so doing the job properly doesn't become anyone's cost.

Which leads me to wonder if the root of the fault is neither coders nor testers, but rather bean-counters limiting the time allowed to produce and debug code.

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Cold call bosses could be forced to cough up under new rules

Terry 6
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FAIL

Re: But when ?

This is a consultation

As in, "we're thinking we'll get round to doing something, eventually, when we've asked all the lobby groups for permission." Despite the fact that it was supposed to happen two years ago.

In other words,- total bollocks.

This is not an announcement of action. It just has been worded to sound like an announcement of action. It's actually an announcement of inaction They've just been waiting for some more long grass to grow so that they have somewhere to kick it.

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OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits

Terry 6
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Nice phone but...

I like my Oneplus5 but...... it's a phone. Rectangle of glass and plastic that has the usual electronic gizmos inside. I don't get the phone fetishists. But then I don't get people who worry about car makes either. Or brand names on clothing.

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Oh Capita! Thirsty outsourcing titan finds small oasis in contract desert

Terry 6
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Oh God!

Capita will become the sole provider for all inbound and outbound customer contact and the handling of pension, insurance, mortgage, deposit and investment claims,”

The fucked up the pay and pensions where my wife works. So I guess they will knowhat hey're talking about at least.

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Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

Terry 6
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Re: He wasn't promoted for failure

Firing or disciplining someone for an error is plain stupid. We can all make mistakes. Making staff so error averse that they spend more time watching their backs than getting their jobs done can seriously damage the employer.

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Terry 6
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Re: Liked the translation table...

Somewhere in that there needs to be an element for photos/diagrams either/both of which will show all the various components, except the non-obvious one that you consulted the manual to find out about.

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Terry 6
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There's an island somewhere...

On it they train designers to design consumer devices. None of these people have any idea about the rest of the world. None of them have used or will ever use the types of device they are designing.

For them a dishwasher needs only to be able to fit plates, no one has told them about soup or cereal. A cooker will have an automatic timer switch that can only be set or cancelled by pressing a randomly selected sequence of three buttons from a panel of five - all labelled with things that are totally unrelated to timer switches. Toasters will have slots just too narrow for a bit of crusty bread, but with a gap at the bottom just big enough to trap the bits of bread that fall down when they are shredded trying to remove the remains of the burnt slices. Car seat belts will not retract fully after the first use and dangle in the doors waiting to get trapped. Serial numbers will be placed at the back of large or unmovable machines, or even better finely engraved into stainless steel inside the door rendering it totally invisible (or both). Phones will have buttons running parallel on both sides, so that pressing the one on the right means you also press the one on the left. Or even better, be like the older Kindle and have two buttons on the right both for going on a page, and two on the left for going back a page, rather than having a forward and back on each side. Or the keyboards that all have the caps lock right next to the a key, so that any bit of fT FINGERED typing..... And so it goes.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Terry 6
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Battery life

Until they come up with an everlasting battery any surveillance avoider simply would need to avoid bothering the plug for a couple of days.

Which also raises the phone falling down the toilet/off the balcony/into the road issues.

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Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

Terry 6
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Re: Why would anyone buy a phone on a contract?

Contract phones are often a double rip-off. Buyers are paying the top-whack price, but then when the phone is paid for (loan amortised in effect)most contract prices don't go down, so they carry on paying the same amount each month, paying for the phone again.

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

Terry 6
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Sequal to the "chat" commments

The Mrs was looking at the web site of First Utility to find if they were open over the bank holiday. She used the "chat"facility. And it kept telling her "I'm not trained to answer that". In other words, it was a "bot". Not a human. Even she knew that and she has no IT interest.

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Terry 6
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Re: Old wisdom

Well yes. I think world events bare that one out. The enemy of the enemy often seems to be another enemy. (Think Syria)

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Terry 6
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Re: And then there's Crisco...

Nice that you got your code for the update, eventually, but the fundamental problems that caused that issue needed to be sorted out too. Maybe they did. But the common experience is that if you fight hard enough the companies remove your symptom, but leave the disease intact.

Very similar, I guess to the people who contact a TV consumer programme after being given the runaround by a major company who owe them money, and then they get their refund - you wonder about all the people who don't get their issue publicised.

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Terry 6
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I don't mind that instant messaging box if there is actually someone there to answer. But too often it then says that there's no one available to answer,or they're only open at silly times in the day.

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My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Terry 6
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Pint

Lee D Well said

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Terry 6
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Our fire policy starts with "if safe and practical, tackle the fire with the extinguishers available"..

As it should. And everyone should have a basic level of training including that. And using extinguishers ( there are so many types according to type of fire and they keep changing the labelling rules). Also the reminder not to get the fire between you and the exit.(Which is common sense, but as has often been noted, common sense isn't all that common).

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