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* Posts by defiler

767 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

Gov contractor nicked on suspicion of Official Secrets Act breach

defiler
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Re: Wow...

"Yes, Minister" was a documentary.

The West Wing were the people you'd hope were in charge

Yes, Minister were the people you'd believe were in charge

The Thick Of It were the people that probably are in charge

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UK third worst in Europe for fibre-to-the-premises – report

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Re: Central Manchester

@AndrueC

The fibre run is Virgin, not Openreach. And you're right in what you're saying - when Openreach work they're (generally) great. But when they don't it turns into a game of pass-the-parcel with the problem.

I've had a DSL line problem bounced between ourselves and three other agencies for about 2 months before I walked onto the site with snips and a punch tool and reterminated it. Worked great after that. And I have had a number of episodes like that...

In the case of this Manchester site, though, I reckon there's water in the cables, and that would be a mammoth nettle to grasp. The client are delighted with their fibre line. And Pulsant were an easy choice because that same client have had SDSL and EFM from them for years beforehand with exactly zero issues.

(I don't work for Pulsant, and I accept that they've had their issues over the years, but their business comms have been pretty robust.)

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Central Manchester

One of our clients had super-shonky ADSL. I think the duct is flooded or something, because it's bad all the time, but really takes a crap in foul weather. FTTC, we though - that'll get us past some (lots) of the ducting intact. Exchange is live. Cabinet scheduled for <5 months. Then they pulled the plug on the upgrade so they can push out FTTP.

What? So we can't get FTTC in there this year and FTTP later? We ditched Openreach and got an all-fibre line in via Pulsant. Sorted.

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NASA, Roscosmos: We're building a lunar space station!

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Well, if we're just talking...

...with no commitments at all, I propose Citadel Station. It'd operate as a mining facility orbiting Saturn.

Quick bit of AI to keep everything ticking over, and we're done.

Cheers,

Ed.

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Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …

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Re: A name?

Australian Space Development Agency - ASDA.

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Kebab and pizza shop owner jailed for hiding £179k from the taxman

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Fiddling the VAT...

The first rule of being VAT registered is "you don't fuck with the VAT man".

The second rule of being VAT registered is "YOU DO NOT fuck with the VAT man".

Virtually nobody ever got jailed for swerving their PAYE / NI / Corp tax. Loads are in the clink for VAT.

What a trumpet.

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

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Re: Had this from the IT tech side before

@Franco

Yeah - 2012R2 was per-CPU with minimum 2 CPUs. 2016 is per-core with minimum 8 cores.

Of course, most of our servers are 10-cores per socket. Sigh...

Also - I am not Microsoft Licensing. I just have to steer people in roughly the right direction from time to time. They have an 0800 number if you need to speak to them and they've always been very friendly with me!

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Re: Had this from the IT tech side before

"used Datacenter Edition on everything no matter what"

Not clever, but if you're running reasonably dense VMs it means that you license the hardware once and all of your Windows VMs on that hardware are covered. Of course, Microsoft have got wise to the ever-increasing number of cores on a CPU, and there's an element of per-core in there now, but it rapidly works out cheaper than Server Standard if you're cramming the VMs in.

I don't know how this works with Server 2016 and Containers. Anyone?

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Blame Canada? $5.7m IBM IT deal balloons to $185m thanks to 'an open bag of money'

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Joke

Re: Not a surprise

IBM would of excelled at in the old days.

You mean they'd just get a machine running Excel to do the work and wrap it up in a huge box with P O W E R stamped on the front? Thought they'd use Lotus 1-2-3... :-/

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Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

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Re: Conficker

Just for shits and giggles, Password123 meets the Active Directory password complexity requirements. It's not all that complex...

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Re: I'm unintentionally awesome at work regularly

Ach - I bumped into an old boss who'd bumped me. Long, bitter story...

He did volunteer, though, that since I was away everything kept breaking. People had problems with all sorts of things. All because I wasn't there spinning the right plates at the right times. They had no idea how much of what I did in that place.

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I'm unintentionally awesome at work regularly

At least on a weekly basis. It's a shame that managers, users, basically anybody outside the thin seam of experienced techies ever realises. Until I've left, I suppose...

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IT plonker stuffed 'destructive' logic bomb into US Army servers in contract revenge attack

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Re: Slightly inflated cost estimate here?

Also you're forgetting the military markup - anything for the military costs at least 3x what it does on civvie street. Hell, sometimes it's even for good reasons, but I suspect this may be a case of "we're used to paying over the odds - shut up and take our (government) money!!"

I'm sitting here wondering how a middle-aged man becomes so petty as to wilfully try to damage an ex-client's system. I mean, I'm no stranger to losing my exquisite cool over client stupidity, but I wouldn't even consider this. Especially if they've just changed suppliers at the end of a contract run.

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

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Re: What use is a Quad HD screen?

To drive the price down so we can get them in the next-gen VR headsets :)

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Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

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It looks like you're trying to drive in circles

Fuck off, Clippy!!!

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Microsoft Office 365 Exchange issues for users across Europe

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@MyffyW

"availability achieved on their own on-prem service for the last five years"

My On-Prem mailbox availability has averaged 365.2 days per year since 2012-09-18. That is, I have not had a single day when the users were unable to access their email in five years.

Yes, I'm proud of that. No, I'm not taking it for granted. If we're going to punish me, we can drop it to maybe 365.1 days and accept that there's maybe been a half day in total when the Transport Hub has stalled on a machine and has needed a swift kick to resume committing messages to the Information Store.

I'm generally fairly generous and call it Office 358. After all, everyone needs a week off from time to time.

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A todger, a 2.5kg dumbbell, the fire brigade... and the inevitable angle grinder

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Ummm - I fell...

Seriously, I think it should be part of the CE regs that all holes must be clearly too small to stuff a penis into, or too big to get one stuck.

Either that or there should be legislation that said appendages are forfeit to the Gods of Misadventure.

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Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

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Re: 'Hope somebody answers you that way'

"just a shame some ( I SAID SOME - NOT ALL !!!) of the users are arse wipes."

Some of the users are arse wipes everywhere...

I'm sure we can all agree that there are arseholes on Linux (but when you find an answer on the fora it tends to be very thorough). There are definitely arseholes on Windows (but you learn which sites have great responses). There are arseholes on MacOS, iOS, Android, Solaris, AIX, RiscOS, OS/2, TauOS...

Wherever you get enough people, you'll find an arse there souring it for everyone. But, again for *all* of these systems, the genuinely encouraging and helpful people always outnumber the arseholes.

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'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

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Re: A long time ago....

It's pronounced "nukular family"

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Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

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Re: Virtual ?

"Virtual servers aren't run in bags of gas, you know."

Wait. What? :-/

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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

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Re: there's a moderately-sized DC in central London that had water fire suppression ...

@Lysenko

Nope - the wet DC I'm thinking of up over near Aldgate. Well, that makes two then! Water-cool-a-go-go!! :)

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Re: I've thought of this often

Apparently more people than just me have considered this...

Firstly, full disclosure - I water-cooled my home desktop for years and liked it. A lot. Sadly it's all aluminium parts, so I can't really extend it or update any part of it so I eventually had to retire it when things stopped being able to be bodged into place. I'd do it again, but better things to do with money now that I have kids...

Directly water-cooling rack-mounted servers means that you have to have some way of coiling the pipes up so that you can draw the servers out of the rack on rails and not have to unplumb them - that's what I mean about the headache. A teeny leak can cause havoc, and good luck getting a warranty on that kit. And when you first connect it, you'll end up with bubbles somewhere. Again, a headache.

I did mention Fluorinert, which could then be exchanged to water at the back of the chassis. Reasonably sane, but you still have the extendable plumbing issue. At least internally it can be a sealed system with no bubbles!

Yeah - water-cooled cabinets. Looked at the sheets, but never seen one in the flesh so I couldn't possibly comment more.

Low-grade heat. Ledswinger has it. There's not many uses for it, and you can't transport it far without losing the heat in it. Under-floor heating? Great. Pool heating? Great. Domestic hot water? Not so much. I don't think it _needs_ to be kept above 60 degrees all the time, but it needs to be up past there for at least a couple of hours a day for legionella (I am not a plumber, but I have spoken to many), so it adds up to much the same thing. Wall-mounted radiators need 60 degrees, or have to be massively oversized. So until everyone gets a pool or under-floor heating then we're rather stuck for what to do with it. That's why I suggested banging a heat-pump in the middle. You'll get a lower flow-rate, but higher temperature.

And the datacentres that we're located in would still go apoplectic if you started running water into the halls. That said, there's a moderately-sized DC in central London that had water fire suppression last time I was there (about 2 years ago). Maybe they'd let you hook in...

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I've thought of this often

Except that you really don't want the headache of water-cooling your rack-mounted servers. A single leak becomes a real headache. Besides, datacentres are curiously tetchy about piping water in and around the machine halls... You can use Fluorinert or similar, but then you can't use plastic pipes and fittings. So then you're down to dragging the heat out of the air.

I also wouldn't want to get a plumber out in an emergency. It was bad enough waiting for the IBM guy to turn up for a cooling fault. 8 days, and he still made an arse of it - put on so much thermal paste you'd have thought he was laying tiles...

But anyway - hot air -> aircon -> fluid -> heat pump to ramp up the temperature -> ??? -> profit!

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New Horizons probe awakens to receive software upgrade

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Re: RFU

"The update procedures have become more robust"

They tend to come with dual memory banks for the firmware these days, so if it borks it can fail back to the other. Not so much in the old days, and I wouldn't like to be on that with New Horizons. Every byte is payload.

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Re: RFU

Totally this ^^^

I remember The Fear when flashing the firmware on Adaptec 2940UW cards. I also remember the panic when one failed, but then I hacked that machine to boot off something else and bring up the SCSI later.

I imagine that's not really an option in this case. :-/

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

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Re: Memory Utilisation

I can't get close to 10GB myself, but if you leave Gmail open all the time it does love to hoover up the RAM. Maybe you leave your computer on 24/7 - it'll just keep sipping away. I've seen Chrome swallow >1GB on a Gmail tab.

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Seen in the wild!

I helped a customer out just yesterday and was flabbergasted that she was running Edge as her browser of choice. I thought better of offering alternatives - not my place to go around confusing people.

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Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

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I don't think you're allowed to dump radioactive waste at the bottom of the ocean, though. Besides, would that not give them superpowers or something?

Nope - that's pretty-much the only flaw I can find. Swap the rads for ballast, and let's start looking at implementation.

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SpaceX sneaks in X-37B space plane launch ahead of Hurricane Irma

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Re: Getting bored now

It's Apollo 12.

First time out it was amazing. Now, I nearly skipped past the video. But I didn't, so it's okay.

They've made the startling commonplace, and well done to them!

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We don't need another hero: Huawei overtakes Apple – even without a big-hitter

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Recently got an Honor 8 Pro

I have to say, it's an astounding phone. Very, very quick. Huge, bright, clear screen. Got 3 days out of a charge. I'm not surprised they're doing well.

My wife picked up a Samsung Galaxy S8, and I think I prefer mine. The S8 has a *slightly* bigger screen in a *slightly* smaller case, but I'm not a fan of the screen-to-the-edge thing. And I can shove 2 SIMs in mine, which seems to be lacking from the Samsung lineup as sold in the UK.

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Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

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Oracle fans

AMBxx asked 3 days ago:

"Any Oracle fans out there?"

Fewer and fewer with each passing hour, I suspect.

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Sales is hard

Sales is hard, and it's necessary. You go around being told "no" a hell of a lot of the time. Someone once described it to me as "collecting nos".

For every 100 calls you make, you might get one person to speak to you face-to-face. For every 100 meetings, you might get one good deal out of it. Referred business is a different game.

I once thought the same of sales, until I ended up having to do it. Then all your technical knowledge in almost worthless.

However, I will concede that some salespeople need kept on a lead to stop them promising the impossible...

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

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Re: infinity monkeys in infinite time....

"A seven year old contributing to the SMTP messaging system would surely have been news at the time and remembered."

I dunno - RFC821 was spectacularly simple. A bright 7-year-old using the IRC name "OldD00d1964" could have helped. After all, my son seems to know everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about Nintendo...

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Whoosh, there it is: Toshiba bods say 14TB helium-filled disk is coming soon

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Re: Fuck a duck!

@Ian

Colour centrefold on the Internet? Wouldn't be Lena Soderberg by any chance? I still remember her being used as one of the JPEG test subjects...

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Re: Need to check if it's any use for A/V storage

Only if you're writing for a hifi magazine. Best use one of those directional network cables...

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Fuck a duck!

My first HDD was 20MB in my old Archimedes, and I know plenty of people who had smaller drives before me.

Remember having to clear out 650MB to make an ISO before writing a CD? Kids today etc etc...

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

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Re: Smart meters and electricity storage

@Ledswinger

Yep - certainly not looking for a fast answer. As I say, it's something that struck me whilst driving. However, I'll make the observation that the point at which the electricity is drawn from your parked vehicle would surely be when the spot price of electricity is very high. Otherwise there's no point in drawing that energy out.

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Re: Smart meters and electricity storage

@Ledswinger

"The idea of being paid a profitable rate for your re-export may sound nice"

That's not what I'm driving at, though. I'm just looking to be paid the same to export a kWh as I paid to import it. I'd "happily" accept the losses due to chemistry, inverters etc - that would be a price I'd sort-of expect to pay. I just think it's unreasonable for me to pull electricity into the house at rate n and for the electricity company to be able to demand that back out again at rate n/4 when all I've done is kept it safe for them.

Also just wait for the first Enron-a-like to notice that they can "flip" electricity through their customers and glean 3n/4 for each kWh they manage to channel. Cha-ching!

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Smart meters and electricity storage

I had a small thought on this over the weekend. It's an idea that's been floated a few times - when we all have electric cars, these can be used to provide "surge" supply onto the grid, rather than using pumped storage hydro and similar. That way, it's all nicely distributed, and the end user picks up the tab for providing the infrastructure. The thing is, though, that if you've spent 15p/kWh (for example) charging your car, you don't want to sell that back to the grid at wholesale 4p/kWh (or whatever it is). That gives the supplier a huge incentive to draw electricity from you.

So, an export meter won't work.

What you want in this case is a meter that'll run backwards, to fully refund you for the electricity you're providing. Only they've got rid of all of these.

Not sure there are enough faces to palm over this whole project.

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Boffins turn to AI to zip through piles of gravitational lenses

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Re: Have I Got This Right?

Yep. That's pretty-much neural nets.

There are no hard and fast rules. Just a bunch of weightings. Imagine, if you will, a flawed analogy:

You have a machine with a video feed going in at one end, and an 8x8 grid of knobs to turn. None of the have any labels, and there is no map of how each one is wired together. At the other end is a screen that gives you stats on what is detected in the image.

That's pretty much it.

By testing the machine's output and saying "colder" or "warmer", you instruct a marvellous mechanical golem to tweak the knobs more-or-less randomly until it converges on some settings that *appear* to give the correct result on the training data.

Then the real challenge is to repeat that success with fresh test data, so that the net detects tanks instead of cloudy days...

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Two million customer records pillaged in IT souk CeX hack attack

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CVV code

I thought it was illegal / a breach of regs to retain the CVV. That's why every time my wife wants to use JustEat, it's a hunt for the card...

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Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

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Re: Yeah... this is one of the many reasons..

"It started it's life with XBMC"

Pah - you're a newcomer unless you had XBMP on a chipped XBox. :D

(Now on my 8th XBMP/XBMC/Kodi device - those Rapsberry Pis work a treat, especially with CEC!)

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If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016

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Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

@xenny

That's good to know, thanks. That update wasn't available when we had to make the choice, and I'm grizzly enough to assume that any 32-bit task will slam into the stops when it hits 2GB. It'll save us some mucking about with other clients though.

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Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

We have clients for whom we've had to deploy 64-bit Excel because some of their spreadsheets were getting worryingly close to 2GB RAM in use. Surely there has to be a better tool for this. In fact, we've suggested better ways for them to do it. But no, Excel all the way and damn the RAM.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

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Re: what's wrong with the Australian road train setup?

@Chloe

Thank you - I did look, but I had thought it was Stobart so I had no chance!

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what's wrong with the Australian road train setup?

This, and very much this.

There is legislation on the maximum length of artics in the UK, and having road-train-style vehicles is banned. I remember a few years ago a news article that Eddie Stobart (I think) were trialing oversized lorries that were technically too long for the road, but they said they'd basically wing it.

This wireless trial would seem to dodge that legislation by making them separate physical entities, even though they are operated together. Surely the simpler solution would be to legislate to permit road-trains instead on certain routes. Same saving on fuel and salaries.

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

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When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

I know that feeling, too. But with Exchange it was a case of "everything stopped and God couldn't make it work again".

There may have been ways to coax it back to life, but I didn't take the chance. When Exchange 2003 SP2 came out, I'd always set the limit to 72GB in the registry, keeping those 3GB in hand for the inevitable emergency when it would hit the stops.

Telling the boss "all of the company email will stop in 4 months if nobody clears out" had the desired effect (unusually). That company was still using Exchange 2003 in 2012, with the same 72GB mailstore limit...

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Your high horse is getting tired...

Back in the day we had a 4GB limit on the Exchange mailstore. Not per mailbox, but for the whole database. Sure, at the time that was a lot, but when you have 100 staff in a solicitor's office, it's amazing how quickly it goes.

"Well you can pay for Enterprise, or we can extract the data to PST, but please be careful with them" becomes "Well you can pay... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... or we can extract... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." which is quickly answered by "the second one".

Also, bear in mind that around these parts, partner solicitors don't draw a (meaningful) salary, but take a split of the profit at the end of the year. So when you ask them to pay for something, that's taking money out of their pocket.

This story is agonisingly familiar - I have been the miracle-worker for this kind of crap more times than I really want to consider.

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El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

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Re: This was my grandfather's HDD.

Not a Deskstar then?

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Re: What's in it for me?

The benefit is speed. And for the short term that's the only benefit. But it is a *huge* difference in speed.

For bulk, HDD will spin along for a while to come - that much is certain. As others have said, perhaps SSD will be "just another tier" - after all, you don't need to stream movies from SSD, for example. In that case you're probably better off with HDD and a lot of buffer RAM.

SSD is allowing huge data densities (at a cost), but I'm not convinced there's much appetite for that at the moment. Not whilst it's cheaper to just rack up the HDDs.

As always, the market will decide. I fully expect in 20 years HDDs will be an anachronism. But then we'll all be panicking about the Unix epoch rollover. :)

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